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to the supreme court Aborigional law

Aboriginal customary law and European law have been at odds since the first years of the European invasion, but only recently has the clash come into the open. Stuart MacMillan of the Aboriginal Resource and Development Services in the Northern Territory says that remote Aboriginal communities there and in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland see no reason why they should submit to "whitefella law".
The governments of the Northern Territory and Western Australia are investigating how indigenous law can be incorporated into state law. Chris Sidoti of the Human Rights Council of Australia says: "Some people would say that human rights runs opposite to Aboriginal law, others that it provides a universal standard to which other legal traditions must adapt. Customary law can't remain immutable. The problem for those trying to bring the two systems into line is that human rights law derives from a western legal tradition which frequently contradicts Aboriginal law.
Colin McDonald, a Darwin barrister and expert in customary law, says that on such issues Australia's legal system may simply have to bite the bullet and go against the norms of international human rights.
Aboriginal women have often claimed that the law has been slanted to support the rights of indigenous men over women.
Lowitja O'Donoghue, who formerly chaired the government's Aboriginal affairs body ATSIC, believes that Australian law should be more aggressive in such cases. Some aspects of Aboriginal law are falling out of practice. Chris Sidoti believes that whatever balance is struck will be as distinct from traditional European law as it is from traditional Aboriginal law. "For traditional people, being put in jail is more inhuman than spearing, and any unified law would have to recognise that.
Aboriginal Customary Law
The High Court did, however, conclude in that case (a conclusion confirmed in WA v Commonwealth, Wororra Peoples v WA and Teddy Biljabu and others v WA, High Court, March 16 1995) that some Aboriginal land law (that which attracted the status of 'native title') survived the colonisation process. What is far less certain is the fate of Aboriginal customary laws that were not concerned with title to land. Did traditional laws on subjects such as family relationships, title to goods, community justice mechanisms, inheritance and criminal law survive colonisation? If native title survived, why didn't other property law? Why didn't any traditional laws retain their credence? One can conclude with confidence that colonisers had little regard for indigenous law. Recognition must be given ... to the existence (and survival) of customary law. As Australian society examines socially just ways of dealing with its indigenous peoples, and as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to demand the right of more culturally appropriate responses, the importance of customary law cannot be underestimated (Social Justice Commissioner, 1995: |P 31).
In 1992 the Commonwealth, in implementing recommendation 219 of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report (Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1991), requested a further report be prepared which outlined the Commonwealth government's progress on the recognition of customary law since a 1986 Australian Law Reform Commission report (infra). Aboriginal defendants, the court confirmed, were subject to the law of New South Wales whether or not both victim and offender were Aborigines and whether or not they were to be subject to traditional law as well. This case confirmed some older legal precedents. For almost two hundred years the Australian courts did not recognise customary law at all. Be that as it may, the general law gave scant regard to customs, rites and traditions of Australia's indigenous peoples. In the landmark land rights decision, Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd and the Commonwealth (1971) 17 FLR 141 Justice Blackburn of the Northern Territory Supreme Court decided that there had been a system of law in existence in Australian Aboriginal societies in 1788. The impetus provided by the case of Sydney Williams in South Australia is crucial to the later deliberations of the Australian Law Reform Commission and to the story of the recognition of customary law generally.
Not coincidentally, in February 1977, the Australian Law Reform Commission was commissioned to determine
The ALRC concluded that codification is not an appropriate form of recognition of customary law, nor is the exclusion ... more

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Assisted suiced

Today we struggle with the medical ethics on issues of life and death in a culture that denies the terminally and the infirm the right to maintain control over when to end their lives.  They come to realize that at some level we are all dependent on others.  From infancy to death, the cradle to the grave we rely on a number of people.  One such person is our physician.  In todays society a physician is expected to be dedicated to the restoration of health, and the mending of the broken body.  What happens when the body is past mending?  Is euthanasia the answer?  What do I believe?
Through discussions with my uncle, David Hollett M.D., and first hand observation of the suffering of loved ones close to death, I have come to the conclusion that when the body is past mending, the current practice by physicians is to medicate and provide a pain management program through strong narcotics.  This often causes patients in their last days, months, and even years, to fail to recognize loved ones, hallucinate, suffer from confusion, and even cause, in the most severe cases to be unconscious.
 There are two types of euthanasia active and passive.  Active euthanasia, which is the injecting of a lethal drug, which ends the life, is opposed by many people, and illegal in most countries. This method requires one person killing another.  This is also known as physician assisted suicide.  Fewer people oppose passive euthanasia, which is the withdrawal of life sustaining medical treatment. The supporters contend that through passive euthanasia, the person dies what would be considered a natural death. Possibly Gods will.
In 1990, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that patients have a right to passive euthanasia if they have clearly made their wishes known.  People can do so through living wills and by granting powers of attorney.  A living will is a legal document addressed to a patients family and health care providers stating what type of treatment the patient wishes or does not wish to receive if he becomes terminally ill, unconscious, or permanently comatose (Mc Graw-Hill).  A power of attorney is the legal right to act as the attorney or agent of another person, including handling that persons financial matters (Mc Graw-Hill).  But what about active euthanasia?
Currently only Oregon and the Netherlands have laws permitting physician-assisted suicide. There was little need to until Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a 70-year old retired pathologist from Royal Oak, Michigan. Dr.Kevorkian used bully pulpit to strongly advocate for allowing patients the right to decide when they no longer wished to live.    .   He challenged the legal system by openly admitted to giving assistance to patients with no possibility of any relief from their pain and suffering.  He has admitted to extending help to 130 patients up to now (Naidu).  Because the Michigan Supreme Court up held a lower court decision, it was ruled that the current law outlawing assisted suicide was constitutional.  Dr. Kevorkian, also known as Dr. Death, was charged in 1999, tried and convicted of second-degree murder and illegal delivery of a controlled substance.  This was decided after the authorities reviewed a tape originally sent to  60 Minutes.  The tape was of Kevorkian directly administering drugs to a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrigs disease.  The judge sentenced him to serve concurrent prison terms of 10 to 25 years for the murder charge and 3 to 7 years for the drug charge (Globe).  He is still in jail.  
I believe that life is a gift from the divine Creator, temporarily entrusted to us as faithful guardians.  Therefore, death, in and of itself, is not a road to heaven and should not be contemplated as such.  I find my answers to these questions in the bible in various scriptures.  James 5:16 advised that when we sin it is important for us to confess not only to God, but also to our fellow Christians.  How does one do this if they have just ended their life?  In Corinthians 3:16 it is stated Dont you know that yourselves are Gods temple and that Gods spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys gods temple, God will destroy ... more

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