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Indigenous Law Bulletin

Indigenous Law Bulletin
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Editors --- "Update: In this Issue; Change to Number of Issues; Change of Name: Indigenous Law Centre; Aboriginal Women's Legal Centre in NSW; Australian Taxation Office Services for Indigenous People; Outcome of Kruger Litigation" [1997] IndigLawB 76; (1997) 4(5) Indigenous Law Bulletin 2


In this Issue

Discussion of the Wik case continues in this issue with Kent McNeil's article, comparing the Canadian Indigenous rights on land with Australian Indigenous rights after the High Court's Wik decision.

Christos Mantziaris begins a two part article on the Review of the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (Cth). Part two will be published in the next issue (October 1997), alongside a response from Jim Fingleton, who headed the review.

This issue also includes an outcomes statement from the summit on indigenous deaths in custody, held on 4 July 1997; a casenote on Dann v State of WA & Anor; reviews of Indigenous Legal Issues and Mabo - Life of an Island Man; and an update on the National Indigenous Legal Curriculum Development Project.

Changes to Number of Issues

From now on, the Indigenous Law Bulletin will be published nine times per year. This issue is the combined August/ September issue. There will also be a combined December/January issue and an April/May issue. The rest of the issues will be monthly issues. We have made this decision because of constraints on resources at the Indigenous Law Bulletin.

The next thematic issue, concerning Torres Strait Islanders, is scheduled for November. Contributors are encouraged to send in articles as soon as possible.

Change of Name: Indigenous Law Centre

The Aboriginal Law Centre has now officially changed its name to the Indigenous Law Centre, in order to better reflect Australia's indigenous diversity. However, our email address remains <aboriginal-law-centre>. This will be changed in the near future.

Aboriginal Women's Legal Centre in NS W

The Aboriginal Women's Legal Resource Centre was opened on 5 May this year, in Stanmore, Sydney. The Centre is the first Aboriginal women's legal centre in Australia.

The Centre's special focus will be Indigenous women and children in New South Wales who are, or have been, subject to domestic violence and sexual assault. Services are mainly available through telephone advice and referral on 1800 686 587.

Australian Taxation Office Services for Indigenous People

The Australian Taxation Office offers a number of services to help Indigenous people with their tax.

The Aboriginal and Islander Resource Centre in Alice Springs provides assistance with tax and child support issues for indigenous people all around the country. They can be contacted on 13 10 30 for the cost of a local call.

There are also indigenous Tax Office staff in most capital cities, and in Albury, Darwin, Newcastle, Penrith and Townsville. These staff can provide tax advice to indigenous people. For more information, call 13 10 30.

Outcome of Kruger Litigation

The High Court handed down judgment in Kruger and Ors v Commonwealth and Bray and Ors v Commonwealth on 31 July 1997. The 4-2 majority (Brennan CJ, Dawson, McHugh and Gummow JJ) found in favour of the Commonwealth. The majority's view was that the Commonwealth's power to make laws with respect to Territories (in s122 of the Constitution) is not limited by implied rights of the kind claimed by the plaintiffs (including rights to freedom of movement, due process and freedom of movement).

Justices Toohey and Gaudron were in the minority. They found that the Constitution contained at least some of the claimed implied rights, although only Justice Gaudron was prepared to find the Northern Territory Ordinance which authorised the removal of Indigenous children from their families was invalid. Costs were awarded against the plaintiffs.

A case note on this decision will appear in the next edition of the Indigenous Law Bulletin.

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