Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne
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This webinar is the sixth in the Australian Centre’s 2022 Critical Public Conversations series: Undoing Australia.
The possibility of constitutionalised Indigenous-settler legal pluralism was raised in the Australian High Court in the case of Love-Thoms (2020). In this case, the Court accepted that an ‘Aboriginal Australian’, even if a non-citizen, could not be an ‘alien’ and so could not be placed in immigration detention or deported from Australia. In federal court cases applying Love-Thoms, (and in the 2022 discontinued Montgomery proceedings in the High Court), judges have been asked in essence to decide whether it is ‘traditional law and custom’ that makes a person an Aboriginal Australian, and if so, whether Indigenous law can confer Aboriginality on persons who are not (or cannot show) that they are the biological descendants of Aboriginal ancestors.
The Commonwealth and responsible Ministers have argued that endorsing the authority of traditional law and custom in this way would: 1. Amount to an unconstitutional recognition of Indigenous sovereignty and 2. Require settler officials to determine the content of multiple and varied bodies of traditional law and custom, a task they say renders the administration of immigration law and policy unreasonably uncertain and difficult.
What should we make of claims about ‘uncertainty’ and ‘difficulty’ in a legally plural settler-colonial state? Why is ‘sovereignty’ still, after all these years, operating as a dead weight on judicial recognition of legal pluralism in Australia?
In this presentation Dr Glover will attempt a reframing of the problem, and propose a way forward, building in part on a joint research project underway with Mary Spiers Williams (ANU) and on work done with colleagues at the Melbourne Law School Indigenous Law and Justice Hub in support of Indigenous intervenors in Montgomery.
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Please join us for the next MSD Public Lecture with Professor Jorge Otero-Pailos, Director of Historic Preservation, Columbia University.
Dust, the kind the atmosphere deposits on buildings, is an important historical and environmental record that usually goes unrecognized. The artworks in The Ethics of Dust series isolate dust and make it tangible by transferring it from the surface of buildings onto translucent casts. In this lecture, I will present a selection of dust casts taken from buildings around the world, and discuss the unexpected histories that each of them unveils. I will connect the dots between these punctual histories to outline a larger concept they all contribute to, namely that of atmospheric heritage.
Taken together, The Ethics of Dust amounts to more than the sum of its particles, challenging the conceptual duality of tangible/intangible heritage, the limits of governmentality, and the politics of belonging, or so I will argue.
We will be hosting a live-stream screening of the lecture with complimentary lunch in the Japanese Room,401, Level 4, Glyn Davis Building, University of Melbourne. If you would like to attend this on-campus session, please select ‘in-person’ on your ticket type when registering. The lecture will also be available online.
Image: The Ethics of Dust at Westminster Hall, by Jorge Otero-Pailos, 2016. An Artangel commission. Photo by Marcus J Leith.