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Aboriginal Societies and the Common LawA History of Sovereignty, Status, and Self-Determination$
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P.G. McHugh

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198252481

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198252481.001.0001

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The ‘Era of Recognition’ During the 1970s and ’80s—Foundations for a Modern Jurisprudence

The ‘Era of Recognition’ During the 1970s and ’80s—Foundations for a Modern Jurisprudence

(p.366) 7 The ‘Era of Recognition’ During the 1970s and ’80s—Foundations for a Modern Jurisprudence
Aboriginal Societies and the Common Law


Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the early phase in modern history during which the old, ingrained paternalism was replaced by fresher legal principles endorsing aboriginal agency. These principles acknowledged the unique constitutional position of aboriginal peoples and their claim to self-determination. However, that recognition still had to be made within the overarching framework of each legal system and, as became increasingly apparent, in response to the variable situation of each group. Once the foundational modern principles were established — essentially the achievement of the era of recognition in the 1970s and 1980s — their fulfilment in particular cases became the piecemeal brick-by-brick task of the post-recognition period. The chapter considers the early period during the 1970s and 1980s when each jurisdiction re-fashioned its laws as it re-addressed the enduring questions of sovereignty and status.

Keywords:   paternalism, aboriginal agency, self-determination, jurisdiction, sovereignty, status

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