Journal article

Practising law and politics in 1980s’ Australia: The liberating effect of Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen

M Tehan

Griffith Law Review | Published : 2014


As a lawyer working with Indigenous organisations in the central Australian region in the 1980s, the Koowarta case had an immediate impact which was both liberating and limiting. This article reviews the impact of the decision on the lawyer’s practice from a personal, political and legal perspective, by considering Koowarta’s effect on three events or issues in the 1980s: the national land rights proposal; Gerhardy v Brown; and alcohol control and management. Based on that discussion, it considers Koowarta’s contemporary impact in land rights, native title, and alcohol management and control, drawing conclusions about the nature of lawyers’ practice, the relationship of politics and law, and..

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University of Melbourne Researchers