Aboriginal customary law that governed aboriginal life was based upon unwritten rules based on lessons learnt from the dreamtime, kinship ties and relationships, ritual traditions, sacred and secular laws and clan consensus. The law from an aboriginal perspective was no different from daily lifestyle choices because the laws covered rules, morals religion and daily activities.
Sacred Laws taught acceptable behaviour, taught customary laws, governed the use of land and performance of rituals and was entrusted to the elders of each tribe. Secular Laws emphasised responsibilities and rights of individuals and their extended families, the importance of the land for both clan and individual and most importantly responsibility over children throughout their childhood life.
Aboriginal customary laws, before white settlement in 1788, were considered primitive by the British. When the British arrived in Australia they declared the land Terra Nullius. The British did not recognise the Aboriginal ownership of the land, more importantly they did not recognise the Aboriginal law and order system as civilised. This resulted in the British conveniently declaring sovereignty over Australia h declaring Australia commonwealth property and land. The Aboriginal concept of being traditional guardians
Bibliography: Native Title Act (1993) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/nta1993147/http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/nta1993147/ Michael Brogan et al. Heinemann, (2000) – Legal Studies Preliminary Course 2nd Edition This textbook was an excellent source of the various bits of small but crucial information