Aboriginal Sovereignty and Status in the ‘Empire(s) of Uniformity’


in Aboriginal Societies and the Common Law

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780198252481
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191710438 | DOI:
Aboriginal Sovereignty and Status in the ‘Empire(s) of Uniformity’

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Through the 17th and most of the 18th centuries, the formal pattern of British relations with non-Christian societies carried strong residual traces of a medieval and personalized approach to the nature of sovereign authority. This was expressed through an underlying jurisdictionalism by which British authority over non-Christians was based upon treaty, protocol and suchlike relations with those people. Essentially this approach recognized and worked through the political authority of the non-Christian polity. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, however, a new, modern approach towards sovereign authority emerged and was applied to tribal peoples. This chapter describes that transition.

Keywords: British imperialism; non-Christian societies; jurisdictionalism; sovereign authority; colonialism

Chapter.  58589 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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