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By Henry Sumner Maine

Not like another reproductions of vintage texts (1) we've not used OCR(Optical personality Recognition), as this results in undesirable caliber books with brought typos. (2) In books the place there are photographs reminiscent of snap shots, maps, sketches and so on we now have endeavoured to maintain the standard of those photos, in order that they symbolize correctly the unique artefact. even though sometimes there's definite imperfections with those previous texts, we consider they should be made to be had for destiny generations to take pleasure in.

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Martial law was in force on the island at times, but even this had limits. 10 It was made when a rebellion was beyond the control of the civil authorities. The power to declare martial law because a rebellion existed was within the Crown’s prerogative, which the colonial governors assumed to themselves as part of the powers delegated to them by the Crown; it was simply the establishment of absolute and discretionary military power, overruling all ordinary law. The military commander took control over the area in which it had been declared, and over civilians who answered the call for assistance.

The rebellions on the mainland, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen’s Land were minor and short-lived. The most important convict rebellion began in 1804 at Castle Hill, outside Sydney. About 300 convicts armed themselves as part of a careful plan to march on Sydney, where they apparently aimed to seize a ship. This had all the elements of a good revolt: Irish rebels, a declaration of martial law, treachery by a military leader in capturing the rebel leaders, a bloody battle, a court martial, immediate executions (one without trial), and the rebels’ grand rallying cry of ‘death or liberty’.

Australians are still paying for the original and continued decision to seize Aboriginal land. 25 The colonial and imperial attitudes to Aboriginal land were based on the ambiguous legal status of the Aborigines. Eventually it was settled officially that they were British subjects, but the emptiness of that declaration was nowhere more apparent than in the refusal to recognise their pre-existing right to possess the land they had held for so many thousands of years. This came about through the classification of the Australian colonies as being settled in an empty land rather than conquered, and through the unitary theory that British law was the only law in Australia.

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Ancient Law-Its Connection with the Early History of Society by Henry Sumner Maine

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