Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Spaces of Indigenous Justice

February 2013 - February 2015

This interdisciplinary project queries what the ‘spatial’ can be said to signify in terms of Indigenous justice, and asks what discursive sites can be recognised within both the research field and the broader forum of Indigenous governance. It also questions how and in what manner narratives of law, governance and justice for Indigenous peoples play out in the variety of arenas identifiable as ‘spaces’ of Indigenous justice.

The spatial ‘turn’ in the humanities engendered a profound transformation in the way that location, space and place are conceptualised, which in turn caused socio-legal scholars to engage with issues of space beyond the usual units of jurisdiction and state. While alternative geographic or physical arenas can be easily cited – for example, the local, sub-national, national, transnational and global – it is important also to consider conceptual sites.

This extension of focus beyond the jurisdictional is facilitated by a detachment of ‘space’ from the geography of ‘place’, namely, the elimination of the condition for a physical locus or manifestation. If the spatial turn is inherently interdisciplinary, so too is the research field of Indigenous justice. This research requires not only an engagement with the normative but also an investigation into the policies, histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples – as such, the objective of this project is to facilitate dialogue across academic disciplines under the umbrella of socio-legal studies.

This comparative project brings together scholars of law, legal theory, sociology, political philosophy, anthropology, geography, and public policy to consider ‘spaces’ of Indigenous justice and governance, as well as issues of plurality, interaction, transfer, reciprocity, recognition and hybridity between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal worlds.

Spaces of Indigenous Justice Workshop

A two-day interdisciplinary workshop on ‘Spaces of Indigenous Justice’ was held at the University of Leeds on the 12th and 13th December 2013, featuring leading experts from institutions across the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia.

The workshop drew together the diverse strands of scholarship in the research field of Indigenous justice and governance by the adoption of specifically interdisciplinary and spatial perspectives.

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