Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tribal Governments and Violence Against Women Act- Pilot Project


March 31, 2014.

Jennifer Davis, a guest poster on the In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress Blog, has written an informative post about the recent re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)'s pilot program with the Department of Justice and three tribal governments to "exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction (SDVCJ) over all persons, regardless of their Indian or non-Indian status”.

"In the last thirty years or so, since the Supreme Court published its 1978 opinion in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, tribes have not had this level of jurisdictional authorityDespite having their own constitutions and corporate charters (the Umatilla and Tulalip Constitutions, and the Tulalip Corporate Charter are available to read on the Law Library’s American Indian Constitutions and Legal Materials Web page) and treaties with the United States (the Tulalip treaty is in the Library’s general collection), tribal courts could not do anything to prosecute violent crimes committed by non-Indians in Indian country. "
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