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...Findings re: Custom or System of Law...
Justice Moynihan wrote, ' I have little difficulty in accepting that the people of Murray Island perceive themselves as having an enduring relationship with land on the islands and the seas and reefs surrounding them.' Yet he declined to find that this relationship with the land was regulated by a system of laws, suggesting that systematic application of rules associated with the former was not to be found in the flexible responses of the Murray Island Court to land disputes: 'the role of the court was to maintain social harmony by accommodating people's wishes as far as possible and doing what seemed to be right in the circumstances.'
Keywords: aboriginal law, custom, land ownership, Meriam culture, Moynihan, Justice Martin, Moynihan's findings, Murray Island, 1990

Author: Kenna, Jonathan
Source: Moynihan, Justice