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eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
PublisherMelbourne University
File size5.4 Mb
Release date 01.09.1996
Pages count244
Book rating0.7 (0 votes)
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As punishment for murder, Aboriginal justice often calls for a ceremonial spear-thrust through the thigh. In Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia, the ceremony is called Makarrta. The white justice system demands imprisonment for life. Which justice should prevail? What is fair? Which is right? When cultures clash, those with greater power seek to impose their values upon people held to be weaker or inferior. Such a clash happened in the 1930s in Arnhem Land. When insulted by foreigners, then chased by police, local Aborigines reacted violently, and killed eight people, including a white police constable. Eventually the Aborigines were persuaded to give themselves up, being assured this was right and proper, and that they would be treated fairly. What followed was an even greater tragedy than the initial murders. The product of forty years' research, this account of the killings, the protests and the subsequent trials in Darwin in 1934 presents a thorough analysis of the motives and behaviour of the various participants. It shows the disturbing and distressing consequences of the imposition of the British system of justice on people accustomed to their own predictable, consistent legal system, which itself is the product of a complex culture developed over thousands of years.

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