School of Humanities



Steven de Haer

Start date

Mar 2012

Submission date

Nov 2015

Steven de Haer

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Law is Story: Indigeneity and Narrative Jurisprudence in Australia after Mabo


The thesis will develop a knowledge of Indigenous narrative jurisprudence in Australian scholarly discourse. It will explore the way that Indigenous law and story are linked intrinsically, by showing how Aboriginal scholars and authors are using narrative to explicate their Indigenous jurisprudence (their theory of law.) To do this, it will draw from a theoretical framework of ‘law and literature’ studies. I will examine the intersections between law and literature in a group of quasi-judicial texts and literary texts published in Australia after the High Court judgment in Mabo.

Why my research is important

Typically, academic scholarship has focused on either Indigenous law or Indigenous literature. This thesis will stand within a growing body of scholarship that considers the cross-disciplinary links between law and Aboriginal literature. I will undertake a detailed, critical study of literary and quasi-judicial texts and consider what they say about native title in post-Mabo Australia. I am particularly interested by the way that literary texts have the potential to shape national discourse on legal and political issues.


  • Australian Literature after Mabo Scholarship
  • Australian Postgraduate Award
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