Synopses & Reviews
Between 1936 and 1954, the Western Australian government operated Courts of Native Affairs that heard murder and manslaughter cases where defendant and victim were Aboriginal. These caseswhich, for every other citizen, had the status of Supreme Court trialswere reduced to summary hearings that were largely conducted by amateurs. This investigation explores these little-known courts, along with the silence in which they were buried, and the strategic silences exercised by their Aboriginal subjects. Aboriginal people volunteered multiple and arguably deliberately obfuscating versions of events, establishing false tracks and alternative scenarios of some complexity. Some of these narratives were advanced, dropped, adopted again, and repackaged, and this study looks at them all.
Between 1936 and 1954 the Western Australian government conducted Courts of Native Affairs that heard murder and manslaughter cases where the defendant and the victim were Aboriginal. Cases, which for every other citizen carried the status of Supreme Court trials, were reduced to summary hearings conducted by amateurs. In a major contribution to the nation's indigenous affairs history, Black Glass explores these little-known courts, along with the silence in which they were buried and the strategic silences exercised by their Aboriginal subjects.The book will be of particular interest to legal studies students and those interested in the current Aboriginal history debate.
About the Author
Kate Auty has worked as a lawyer for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody; as a lecturer and project coordinator in the Graduate Certificate in Environment and Heritage Interpretation at the Institute of Koori Education, Deakin University; as a barrister; and as a magistrate.