A critical evaluation of the Koori Court Division of the Victorian Magistrates' Court


The Koori Court Division of the Magistrates’ Court in Victoria has been in operation since 2002, and in many ways reflects an innovative and progressive approach to the problems Aboriginal people face in the legal system. This article seeks to assess it development and operation, with the perspective that the Division has the potential to address problems Aboriginal people face in the criminal justice system and society generally. The author takes the view, however, that to fulfil this potential, the Division’s development and operation must function in a way that makes some effort to adjust the power imbalance between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. The author sees a critical approach to an evaluation of the Division as crucial, considering the background of treatment Aboriginal people have received at the hands of the criminal justice system and Australian society as a whole, and the negative impact of previous government policies. (Abstract, edited.)

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