The Legal Status of Aboriginal Spiritual Beliefs | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2169-0170

Journal of Civil & Legal Sciences
Open Access

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Research Article

The Legal Status of Aboriginal Spiritual Beliefs

Ernst Willheim*

ANU College of Law, Australian National University, Australia

*Corresponding Author:
Ernst Willheim
ANU College of Law
Australian National University, Australia
Tel: 6126125 2144
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: June 04, 2014; Accepted Date: July 15, 2014; Published Date: July 17, 2014

Citation: Willheim E (2014) The Legal Status of Aboriginal Spiritual Beliefs. J Civil Legal Sci 3:127. doi:10.4172/2169-0170.1000127

Copyright: © 2014 Willheim E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


What should be the legal status of Aboriginal spiritual belief, for example, rights and obligations under Aboriginal spiritual beliefs to access land to conduct traditional ceremony. Conventional common law property rights do not ordinarily extend to protection of spiritual beliefs. The article contends, however, that where common law and statutory law recognizes a system of native title, the content of native title is to be found not in the traditional principles of the common law but in the relevant native title traditions and customs. Spiritual elements, including rights and obligations to access sacred sites for traditional ceremony may be an integral component of native title. The issue is illustrated by analysis and rejection of the Commonwealth’s argument in a High Court case.