Journal article

Unsecured lending and the indigenous economy in Australia and South Africa

Research Areas

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Publication Details

Author list: Hutchison A, Allen D

Publisher: Wiley: 6 months

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Journal of Law and Society

Issue number: 48

Start page: 84

End page: 105

Total number of pages: 22

ISSN: 0263-323X

eISSN: 1467-6478


Consumer credit is closely regulated in both Australia and South Africa. Nevertheless, unsecured lending often results in financial hardship in low-income com-munities. One aspect of this picture is the impact of the consumer debt burden on the Indigenous economy, which is disproportionately affected by poverty in both countries. Here we juxtapose the comparative regula-tory regimes and then contextualize the law using an inter-disciplinary account of each Indigenous economy. We find through this law-in-context comparison that neither Australia nor South Africa has fully resolved the problem of Indigenous financial hardship. This mutual failure is confirmed by the recent Kobelt decision of the High Court of Australia and the drastic measures enacted in the South African National Credit Amend-ment Act2019. OnepositivelessonthatSouthAfricapro-vides is that accommodating the Indigenous economy in financial regulation can promote and empower that sector.


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Last updated on 2021-03-03 at 11:50