Law Text Culture


On 21 June 2007, the Australian Prime Minister John Howard declared war. In response to the latest in a line of reports about child sexual abuse, he declared a ‘national emergency’ and swiftly suspended the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA).1 He deployed over 600 military personnel, Federal Australian Police and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Investigators into 73 targeted Aboriginal communities across Northern and Central Australia. As a result, these communities saw alcohol and pornography banned, mandatory income quarantining regimes introduced, community assets seized and the Government compulsorily reacquiring Aboriginal land on five-year leases.