Jus Sangunis: The Root of Contention in Determining What is An Australian Aboriginal Business

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Jus sanguinis, the right of blood is a principle of nationality law, whereby a person’s citizenship is determined by having one or both parents who are citizens of a given nation, which has echoes in Justice Brennan’s determination in the 1992 Mabo (No.2) judgement that acknowledges “membership of the indigenous people depends on biological descent”. Yet the Australian business community determines what is an Aboriginal business based on contested percentages of Aboriginal ownership. Aboriginal people use the word ‘business’ in a distinct way. Funeral and mourning practices are commonly known as ‘Sorry Business’, financial matters are referred to as ‘Money Business’, and the secret-sacred rituals distinct to each gender are known as ‘Women's’ or ‘Men's Business’. This paper, however, is analysing another important form of Australian Aboriginal business, it is addressing enterprises that produce goods and services that are for sale in the modern market economy; the enterprises that contribute to fostering social cohesion and recognition of Aboriginal people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalIndigenous Law Bulletin
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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