Aboriginal Customary Law

Sat, 1 Apr 1995 16:15:48 GMT

I'm writing a thesis on the considerations that must be included in
the proper preservation and development of aboriginal customary law in
North America.

One of my headings has to do with the codification of customary law.
It appears that codification leads to problems of rigidity,
professionalization, and other phenomena associated with the Western
adversarial system of law.

The problem that I would like feedback on is that, in my research,
customary legal systems are associated with traditional, land-based
societies with their own territory and, certainly, a large measure of
cultural integrity. As an example, traditional law depends on
face-to-face contact for its enforcement, and a more or less
egalitarian hierarchical or even hierarchical political system
(depending on the traditional political structure) that was there
in the pre-contact period.

What I would like to know is what type of "equivalent institutions"
have aboriginal peoples developed to preserve their traditional
customary legal systems, given the level of contact with the Western
society they have been exposed to. Thanks.