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The International Convention On The Prevention And Punishment Of The Crime Of Genocide

2525 words - 11 pages

In the 1830's and ending in the early 1970's, many aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families, as the European settlement recognised Aboriginal’s for being flora and fauna and deemed them to be feral. European settlers aim was to supposedly enforce Aboriginal’s to be civil by assimilating them into European society and culture. However this was not the case as it was an excuse to wipe out the Aboriginal race and culture, which was ordered by the Australian Government at the time. The Government’s policies and practices regarding the removal of children, the ill treatment and the continuing effects eradicated many aboriginal generations. Government authorities claimed ...view middle of the document...

Rosie McClary was a parent whose child had been taken away by the Chief Protector of Aborigines without given consent by the mother and it was permitted under the Aboriginal Ordinance 1918, which allowed the Chief Protector of Aborigines to take Aboriginal or half cast children into care and custody. The Chief Protector of Aborigines was made as a legal guardian of indigenous children until the age of eighteen, regardless of the existence of their parents. The Aboriginal plaintiffs in this case argued the validity of the Ordinance covering many grounds. For instance, the plaintiffs argued that the Ordinance breached the protection of the freedom of religion in section 116 of the Constitution, it overstepped the freedom of movement from state to state, authorising automatic detention of children that was a decision that should have been made by a court and breached the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
However the court found that the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide only came into effect in 1951 and the Ordinance was in force in 1918, which bought the court to reject the claim as the Ordinance had no such written explanation pointing to genocide. As Justice Dawson noted the decision that there was a degree of equality that was lacking in the claim made by the plaintiffs as there was no such description relating to the degree of genocide that was described in the Aboriginal Ordinance 1918. Even though the Aboriginal Ordinance did not state an act of genocide to be authorised throughout the order, Justice Dawson stated one of the observation’s that had been made which was that the acts authorised by the order fell within the definition of genocide, which demonstrated authorised acts to commit heinous acts against Aboriginal groups with intent to destroy in a whole. Given the statement made by Justice Dawson it only indicated that the Aboriginal Ordinance 1918 was a form of genocide, as it had the power to separate Aboriginal children from mothers, families and communities whilst not giving children what they needed but to outbreed half casts and coloured girls in order to destroy the Aboriginal race.
IV Synthesised research findings
According to an article that was written in The Australian, Dr Paul Bartrop one of the co-authors of The Dictionary of Genocide firmly stated that the Stolen Generations was a form of genocide and it was a word that could be used to easily describe the Stolen Generations in Australia. However some claim that genocide was not used to get rid of the Aboriginals, but a form of assimilating Aborigines with Europeans. This is not so as it was quite evident throughout the article on the emphasis that Dr Bartrop made. Indicating that the Australian Government at the time clearly showed signs of destroying a cultural group, by assimilating Aboriginals with Europeans and simply eradicating Aboriginals from their...

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