Common Law and Colonised Peoples: Studies in Trinidad and Western Australia

1st Edition

Jeannine M. Purdy

Published July 30, 2018
Reference - 309 Pages
ISBN 9781138612334 - CAT# K389250
Series: Routledge Revivals

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Published in 1997. It is well known in Australia that Aboriginal people are currently massively over-represented amongst the prison population. Although it is not officially acknowledged to the same degree in Trinidad, it is also well-known that Afro-Trinidadians are over-represented in the prisons of that county. The disproportionate criminalisation of Aboriginal Australians and Afro-Trinidadians is interpreted by the author as a continuation and concretion of the myth of the barbaric, uncivilised and ungoverned ‘savage; in opposition to which Western legal systems and societies have created their own identities.

The book departs from much contemporary analysis in this area by drawing strongly upon a historical analysis of the operations of the common law in Trinidad and Western Australia. By doing so, the book illustrates that race/ethnicity and criminalisation are not necessarily contiguous. What such analysis does reveal is another and more constant dimension to criminalisation; and that is economic basis of many of the legal relations instituted under British derived legal systems with respect to colonised peoples.


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