Land council calls for customary law review
Jan 11, 2011 7:00:00 PM - aussieindolanka.com
The Northern Land Council says the Commonwealth law that stops courts from recognising Aboriginal cultural practices in sentencing must be immediately reviewed.
The 2007 Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation prohibits courts from taking into account any form of customary law or cultural practice when deciding criminal punishments.
The Land Council says the law stopped the Territory Supreme Court from increasing the penalty for a company that built a pit toilet on a sacred site in Arnhem Land.
The Council’s chief executive, Kim Hill, says he’s concerned about the implications for other sites of cultural significance.
"This intervention was supposed to improve the lives of Aboriginal people." Mr Hill said.