'Payback', Customary Law and Criminal Law in Colonised Australia

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Title 'Payback', Customary Law and Criminal Law in Colonised Australia
Author Finnane, Mark
Journal Name International Journal of the Sociology of Law
Editor Stephen Savage and John Carrier
Year Published 2001
Place of publication UK
Publisher Academic Press
Abstract ‘Payback’ is an Australian Aboriginal English term (also known in Melanesia) commonly understood to refer to a vendetta. Satisfaction of a grievance, such as a death or wife-stealing, may be sought through ritual ceremony, gift-giving, corporal punishment and ordeal, or even killing. Such phenomena, often characterised as vendetta or feud, have been noted by non-Aboriginal observers during most of the period of European colonisation (from 1788). In spite of the presumption of sovereignty that recognises only one law, it is shown that the criminal law in Australia has conceded limits to its reach in dealing with payback. More recently we observe that judicial attitudes have tended to recognise the positive functions of certain forms of payback in resolving conflict and upset in communities. Far from being eradicated by colonisation, payback retains a rationality in Aboriginal communities in a country that is subject to white man's law.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/ijsl.2001.0153
Volume 29
Issue Number 4
Page from 293
Page to 310
ISSN 0194-6595
Date Accessioned 2002-04-16
Date Available 2015-05-05T05:03:40Z
Language en_US
Research Centre ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Subject PRE2009-Criminology
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/3731
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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