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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that indigenous and colonial ‘laws’ were made and adapted in and through entanglements of peoples and dynamic political-normative regimes or epistemic communities. These underlying complexities might be obscured in extant anglophone high-level treatises or colonial judicial decisions, let alone indigenous participation in introduced colonial forums, but remain important to appreciate. In approaching the multiple ‘legalities’ in play one needs to remain conscious of how pre-existing communities interacted dynamically with strangers from across the seas. In examining these points the chapter considers several broad, intermingling phenomena: firstly, key jurisdictional tensions (including those associated with notions of ‘protection’); secondly, the evolution of strategies for governing or administering territory; and, thirdly, the regulation of proprietary interests.

Keywords: indigenous laws, colonial laws, custom, invention, territorial rights, native title, legal pluralities, jurisdictional politics and tensions, juris-generative communities, protection

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