Overseas bid to stop Hindmarsh
 bridge
 From SHERRILL NIXON of AAP
 16nov99

 2.45pm (AEDT) AN Aboriginal campaign to stop the Hindmarsh
 Island bridge is set to go international with lawyers considering a
 plan to launch legal action in either the United States or Britain.

 Ngarrindjeri man Darrell Sumner has applied for leave to appeal to
 the High Court after the South Australian Supreme Court rejected
 his request for an injunction to stop construction of the bridge.

 Mr Sumner claims the bridge  between Hindmarsh Island and the
 South Australian mainland at Goolwa, about 80km south of
 Adelaide  amounts to an act of genocide against the
 Ngarrindjeri.

 But yesterday, High Court Justice William Gummow refused to
 expedite the application in a move Mr Sumner's lawyer Len Lindon
 said was a bad omen for the eventual outcome of the request for
 leave to appeal.

 He is now considering how he could bring the matter before an
 international court or a judge in the US or UK, where legislation
 outlawing genocide exists, unlike in Australia.

 "Obviously a US court can't issue an order stopping the bridge
 but presumably the very fact they've got a genocide act and a
 torts act that covers it would help to show up the gap in the law
 here," Mr Lindon said.

 "The US is the most likely one because they've got lawyers who
 are used to doing that sort of stuff and the Alien Torts Act has
 been pretty well tested.

 "It's about torts (civil wrongs) committed by aliens outside the US
 but in breach of US law and the genocide act is a classic one."

 Mr Lindon also said the case could be brought before the
 International Court of Justice or the European Court of Justice,
 although that step would be difficult because those actions would
 need to be sponsored by a country.

 Construction of the bridge began last month, with the supporting
 pylons expected to be driven into the ground this week.

 The bridge has been the subject of legal wrangling for more than
 five years since claims of "secret women's business" prompted a
 federal government ban on construction in 1994.

 The order was later quashed and a royal commission found the
 women's business had been fabricated.

 In 1997, the Federal Parliament passed legislation to prevent
 further challenges to the bridge and in August, the SA
 government signed a deed with the Hindmarsh Island developers
 to settle compensation claims and give the final go-ahead for
 construction.

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