Speaking up to the silences : Victorian Koori Courts and the complexities of Indigenous family violence


In 2003 the Victorian Indigenous Family Violence Task Force established that levels of violence were increasing and that responding to family violence required breaking a ‘silence of acceptance’ which allowed incidents to go unchecked. This article explores the extent to which this ideal is practiced in the Victorian Indigenous context, examining the Koori Court and its engagement with family violence related matters as a case study, particularly given the media coverage surrounding R v Morgan. This article outlines the role and initiatives of the Victorian Koori Court and its role in serving cases of family violence. In particular, this relates to the misconception that the Koori Court does not deal with incidents of family violence, when in fact, cases of family violence will go to the court except in the instance of a breach of family intervention order. Using R V Morgan as a case study, the article considers public outcry amongst the Indigenous community about the outcome of the case as a timely moment to reconsider how family violence in Indigenous communities is managed within the criminal justice system.

Copyright Information

This document has been sourced from the Indigenous Law Bulletin, previously known as the Aboriginal Law Bulletin, database published on Austlii (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/IndigLawB/). AustLII advises that it is not the copyright owner of the source documents published on AustLII and is not able to give permission for reproduction of those source documents (refer copyright policy disclaimer dated October 2010). Queries about copyright should be referred to the publisher - the Indigenous Law Centre and the University of New South Wales.