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    Songlines and Land Claims; Space and Place

    Higgins, Noelle (2021) Songlines and Land Claims; Space and Place. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique, 34 (3). pp. 723-741. ISSN 0952-8059

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    The Songlines of the Indigenous peoples of the country now called Australia are an invisible web of pathways which trace the journeys of ancestral spirits as they created the earth, seas, creatures and plants. They contain information about the land, encoding the locations of resources across the landscape throughout the seasons, and mapping sacred spaces and notable places. In addition, Songlines have also been of central significance in claims concerning title to land, taken under both the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act, 1976 and the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (Commonwealth Native Title Act, 1993). Songlines have been ‘translated’ and ‘interpreted’ by experts, including historians and anthropologists, for use in land claims under the common law and have been recognised as symbols of land ownership. This article provides a discussion of the Songlines, discusses their status in the legal system of Australia as evidence of title to land, and analyses the role of experts in decoding Songlines in legal proceedings.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Music; Identity; Justice; Culture; Land claims;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Item ID: 16388
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Noelle Higgins
    Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2022 08:27
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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