: Law & Culture - Vol 38(1)

Law & Culture - 2013 - Vol 38(1)

Law and CultureIn our Law & Culture column, you will find original works of fiction, reviews of a wide range of publications — not just conventional legal texts — as well as broader cultural forms such as films, TV shows, CDs, DVDs, art exhibitions and so on. The column links in with the Alternative Law Journal’s focus on law for the disadvantaged, human rights law and law reform.

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Indigenous Crime And Settler Law: White Sovereignty After Empire

Thalia Anthony

Indigenous-crime-and-settler-law-coverHeather Douglas and Mark Finnane; Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; 280pp; $150.00

Since the Mabo decision, there has been a flourishing of research on the techniques of colonial common law to assert British jurisdiction. This has shed light on the long shadows of British jurisdiction on postcolonial Australian society and particularly Indigenous societies. Drawing on property cases and a rich analysis of the legal archive, property scholars have set into sharp relief how common law courts assert ‘jurisdiction in order to supplant other sites of adjudication and authority’.1 They have written extensively about jurisdiction as a technology of sovereignty and have channelled their work into an analysis of the place of British law in asserting jurisdiction over inter se crimes — crimes committed by an Indigenous perpetrator on an Indigenous victim in the same group — for furthering the project of sovereignty.

(2013) 38(1) AltLJ 63


Sex, Culpability And The Defence Of Provocation

Penny Crofts

sex-culpability-and-defence-provocation-150pxDanielle Tyson;

Routledge, 2013; 230pp; $51.00 (paperback)

The partial defence of provocation is one of the most controversial doctrines within the criminal law. It has now been abolished in a number of jurisdictions. In Sex, Culpability and the Defence of Provocation, Danielle Tyson provides ample historical and contemporary evidence to justify the abolition of the defence. More disturbingly, she raises questions about whether or not law reforms will change the strength and persistence of the explanation that a woman who is murdered ‘asked for it’.

(2013) 38(1) AltLJ 64


Law And Justice On The Small Screen

Gill Boehringer

Law-and-justice-screen-cover-150pxPeter Robson and Jessica Silbey (eds);

Hart Publishing, 2012; 472 pp; $55.00 (paperback)

The study of law in popular culture is booming. Surprisingly, while interdisciplinary studies of law in the cinema are common in academic books and journals, attention to law in TV representations have been relatively scarce. (Although the Alternative Law Journal has, over the years, tended to favour reviews of the latter.) Given that TV now is probably the major source of our day-to-day understanding of the world outside, not least law and the legal system, the paucity of substantial research into the meaning and effect of TV portrayals of legal actors and institutions is surprising.

(2013) 38(1) AltLJ 65


Go Back To Where You Came From

Melody Song

GoBacktoWhereYouCameFrom150pxSBS TV, second season; hosted by David Corlett, featuring Angry Anderson, Catherine Deveny, Michael Smith, Imogen Bailey, Allan Asher and Peter Reith;

Screened in 2012; available online or on DVD, $29.99.

The premise of SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From sounds simple enough: to take six (in this, its second season, reasonably well-known) Australians out of their comfort zones and trace the paths to Australia of refugees in order to expose the harrowing and sometimes deadly journeys taken in search of perceived safety and opportunity. Taking such an approach may appear to be trivialising an issue fraught with problems, but it does the job by appealing to our survival instincts and asking, ‘what would you do in my situation?’

(2013) 38(1) AltLJ 67


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