Aboriginal Law (Spr) (M3000)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module will explore the broader constitutional context in which liberal law encounters Aboriginal issues, specificaly related to Aboriginal sovereignty and self-government, colonial and imperial doctrines, and Aboriginal and treaty rights.

The module will introduce you to a range of methodical techniques (cartography, ethnography, travel-writing, land/population surveys) through which Aboriginal lands were represented as terra nullius and its people subhuman.

You will explore how these ‘cultural narratives’ contributed to the development of Canadian and Australian law as it relates to Aboriginal people.

The themes of self-government and self-determination will be explored in depth, and you will have a chance to compare how liberal law constructs these principles in distinct contrast to Aboriginal perspectives.

This module will provide you with a broader understanding of the social antagonisms and cultural processes through which Aboriginal law has been constructed, and will give you an opportunity to evaluate the potential that liberal law has for addressing contemporary issues related to cultural diversity and legal pluralism.


100%: Seminar


10%: Coursework (Essay)
90%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 152 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: