Indigenous Sentencing in Queensland Magistrates Court - the Murri Court


Indigenous Australians are proportionately over-represented in the criminal justice system and particularly the prison system. Murri Court is an initiative of the Magistracy in Queensland to sentence Indigenous offenders in culturally appropriate ways with a view to reducing recidivism and focusing on community based sentencing options. The modified court process involves members of the Indigenous community to which the offender belongs, particularly Elders and the Community Justice Panel. The community representatives provide the court with information about the offender, the impact of the offending and the attitude of the indigenous community to the offending behaviour. The process is proving to be effective in meeting its goals. This article reports on the development and practices of the Rockhampton Murri Court since it began in 2003. Presented to the Law Council of Australia ? Rule of Law Conference Brisbane Banco Court 31 August 2007