Experts take hit over Aboriginal claims in AustraliaBreaking News
Tribunal president Graeme Neate said it had criticised some anthropologists for conducting themselves as advocates for Aborigines instead of impartial experts.
"That means the court ultimately gives less weight to their evidence," he said.
Mr Neate said anthropologists and historians had a pivotal role in native title claims, but the pool of experts was small and of "variable quality".
And because anthropologists frequently had long-term relationships with particular groups of Aborigines, he said, their ability to give objective evidence was sometimes open to attack.
Mr Neate's criticism comes after Tasmanian academic Michael Connor attacked the High Court for accepting what he said was a mistaken view of history in the Mabo native title judgment.
The Mabo judgment relies in part on the work of historian Henry Reynolds, whose work has been criticised in Dr Connor's book The Invention of Terra Nullius and in Keith Windshuttle's book The Fabrication of Aboriginal History.
Mr Neate said the tribunal had long been concerned about problems with the credibility of some expert witnesses in native title cases.
But it was dealing with the problem by giving less weight to those witnesses who viewed themselves as advocates for native title claimants.
comments powered by Disqus
- Tales of African-American History Found in DNA
- History Celebrates New Show Roots With Project to Digitize Post-Slavery Documents
- In 1453, this Ottoman sultan ended Christian rule in Constantinople. But was he a good Muslim?
- Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation among documents sold for $6.2m in New York
- Family shines light on American POW killed by Hiroshima blast
- History Relevance Campaign meets at the Smithsonian
- Bernard Lewis Turns 100
- David Lowenthal, author of "The Past Is a Foreign Country,” says it’s folly to scratch the names of slaveholders off buildings
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush
- Flora Fraser, biographer of George and Martha Washington, wins $50,000 George Washington Prize