I was (because it was due at the library speed-) reading a book today that said that we don’t know yet how multiculturalism will work out, but that it’s so completely the opposite sort of ideals that people had when they left old Europe for new lands, that it should be interesting to watch.
Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough will put a plan to scrap consideration of cultural law as a mitigating factor in serious crimes to state and territory governments at a national summit….
But Mr Brough wants to stamp out this practice.
“As far as customary law is concerned, I don’t believe it has any role … It has been used as a curtain that people are hiding behind,” he said yesterday.
“There’s no role to play in sentencing or diversionary type things when it comes to these serious crimes. This is regularly brought into mitigating circumstances and the courts take it into account. There’s definitely too much opportunity and there are cases there to prove it and judges shouldn’t have to weigh up those sort of things, it just should be excluded.
“It means one group of Australians are treated unequally to everybody else.”
Mr Brough’s comments come after an Aboriginal elder in the Northern Territory, who claimed customary law gave him the right to bash and have anal intercourse with a 14-year-old schoolgirl promised to him as a wife, lost a High Court bid to overturn his three-year jail sentence on Friday.
Mr Brough said it was an outrage that the 55-year-old man was originally sentenced to just one month’s jail by Northern Territory Chief Justice Brian Martin last August, after the judge accepted that the defendant believed tribal law gave him the right to teach the girl to obey him.