Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/62003
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Type: Journal article
Title: Colonial judiciaries, Aboriginal protection and South Australia's policy of punishing 'with exemplary severity'
Author: Nettelbeck, A.
Foster, R.
Citation: Australian Historical Studies, 2010; 41(3):319-336
Publisher: Univ Melbourne
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 1031-461X
1940-5049
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Amanda Nettlebeck and Robert Foster
Abstract: The ways in which Europeans experienced the legal system for crimes against Aboriginal people needs more systematic research. Although for the first fifty years of Australian settlement Aboriginal legal status was protractedly ambiguous, the foundational principle of later-established South Australia was that Aboriginal people were British subjects and settler crimes against them would be punished 'with exemplary severity'. This paper puts this foundational principle to the test by examining the working of the legal system where Europeans were investigated for the deaths of Aboriginal people. Ultimately, we argue, the principle of protecting Aboriginal people as British subjects not only failed, but became inverted into a principle of Aboriginal punishment.
Keywords: Humans; Prejudice; Punishment; Colonialism; Civil Rights; Judicial Role; Public Policy; Race Relations; History, 19th Century; History, 20th Century; Oceanic Ancestry Group; Australia; Europe
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0020100854
DOI: 10.1080/1031461X.2010.493947
Appears in Collections:History publications

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