Criminology, Criminal Justice and Indigenous People: A Dysfunctional Relationship?


This paper looks at issues of crime and violence in Indigenous communities in the context of broader problems of criminal justice law, policy and practice. In particular it addresses four points: the problem the legal system has in ensuring protection of Indigenous women in the context of domestic and family violence; the problem Indigenous people have in using the legal system to protect and enhance their own interests and rights, particularly in the area of civil and family law, and the implications this has for criminalisation; Indigenous access to legal advice and representation and funding issues associated with Aboriginal legal services; and the limitations of criminal justice agencies in developing strategic policies that change the way they do business with Indigenous people. The author examines the reasons for the failure of criminal justice policy to live up to its ideals of fairness and justice, and explores this question through a number of contemporary sites of public policy concern. (Introduction, edited.)

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