Journal article

Law and the Practices of 'Damming': Tasmanian Dams Case as a Turning Point

Lee Godden

Griffith Law Review | Taylor & Francis | Published : 2015


Synopsis: By contrast to many analyses of Commonwealth v Tasmania (Tasmanian Dam case), this article focuses on what the case reveals about the damming of rivers and the role of law in constituting institutions, technologies and practices for that purpose. Australia was colonised by a civilisation that had embedded a technical utilisation of rivers within its laws. Damming rivers, as a reified practice was fostered by modern, technical knowledge. That knowledge displaced other knowledges; including Aboriginal traditional knowledge of land and waters. In 1983, law held the promise of instantiating a new dynamic for human interaction with rivers, as the Tasmanian Dam’s case juxtaposed the inte..

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University of Melbourne Researchers