: DUAO - Vol 38(3)

DUAO - 2013 - Vol 38(3)

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Developments around the country

DownUnderAllOver is a round-up of legal news from both State and federal jurisdictions, and contains topical articles and short pieces from Alternative Law Journal committees around the country.

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Mandatory detention to be extended

Kate Galloway
Western Australia

The Criminal Code Amendment Bill (No 2) 2013 was introduced into the WA parliament on 26 June. The Bill will establish mandatory sentencing for assault and bodily harm of youth custodial officers. The Attorney General describes the bill as fulfilling a pre-election commitment to protect youth custodial officers in the same way as for police, prison officers, ambulance officers, transit guards and court security officers.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 198

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WA government makes settlement 
offer to Noongar

Kate Galloway
Western Australia

The WA premier announced in early July that the government was offering the Noongar people a $1.3 billion offer to settle native title claims over Perth and the South West. The Noongar claim has spent years winding through the courts, resulting in an historic win in the Federal Court in Bennell v Western Australia [2006] FCA 1243. The court in that case found, amongst other things:

A major issue in the Single Noongar case was whether it can be said the present Noongar community continues to acknowledge and observe its traditional laws and customs concerning land. Undoubtedly, there have been changes in the land rules. It would have been impossible for it to be otherwise, given the devastating effect on the Noongars of dispossession from their land and other social changes. However, I have concluded that the contemporary Noongar community acknowledges and observes laws and customs relating to land which are a recognisable adaptation to their situation of the laws and customs existing at the date of settlement. In particular, contemporary Noongars continue to observe a system under which individuals obtain special rights over particular country – their boodjas – through their father or mother, or occasionally a grandparent. Those rights are generally recognised by other Noongars, who must obtain permission to access another person’s boodja for any traditional purpose. Present day Noongars also maintain the traditional rules as to who may ‘speak for’ particular country.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 198

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