While the Australian Law Reform Commissions’s 1986 report on the use of customary law for Aboriginal people was a great initiative, it was, in hindsight, a notion well before its time. Although 30 years have elapsed since the report was published, its recommendations have, by and large, been ignored.
Few in Australia understand the context and true meaning of customary law. Denials of its validity are often based on ignorance or on specific examples devoid of context; the severity of “spearing” for example, as being contrary to human rights norms.
This is akin to rejecting the common law based solely on, say, the use of lethal injections to execute prisoners in the United States.