Kamal Puri


Out of the estimated 15000 cultures remaining on earth, Australian Aborigines represent the world's oldest living culture. In spite of having a long history, it was around 1770 that Europe took notice of the rich cultural heritage and the Aboriginal civilization. With the advent of the British settlement in 1788 till about 1960’s, the laws of the Commonwealth, six States and two Territories of Australia have demonstrated no respect for the rich Aboriginal culture and their proprietary rights in land as well as intellectual property, and their human rights. Australia's accession to the First Optional Protocol combined with the Law Reform Commission's report into The Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Laws the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Mabo and Dietrich findings in 1992 all indicate the importance that the Australian government has placed on the various international agreements and an intention to abide by them in its domestic activities. Especially in the case of indigenous peoples of Australia, these also reveal a desire for reconciliation and to remedy the past wrongs



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