102. Assessing the Different Arguments about Recognition. A wide variety of particular arguments have been made for and against the recognition of Aboriginal customary laws. Most of these arguments are not new: they have been debated in one form or another since settlement. This Chapter sets out the main arguments made to the Commission, in submissions, at public hearings and in other ways. Specific arguments about equality, non-discrimination and other basic human rights are addressed in the two subsequent chapters. As far as possible the general arguments are presented in this Chapter through direct quotation, especially of submissions, since they provide a vivid account of the issues. However in the Commission’s view, the arguments are of differing value and cogency. The recognition of Aboriginal customary laws may take a variety of forms.[1] The strength of the arguments depends to a considerable extent on the particular form of ‘recognition’ which is proposed. Criticisms of recognition, for example, may be valid for one form of recognition but not for others.[2] This needs to be taken into account in assessing the arguments for, and against, the recognition of Aboriginal customary laws.

[1]See para 199-208.

[2]See para 113, 116.