Law & Justice

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • (2007) Cunneen, Chris; Mitchell, M.; Casey, J.
    Book Chapter
    Policing in Indigenous communities is an issue that demands attention to a range of broad political, socio-economic, cultural and historical contexts, as well as the more mundane matters of police operational concern. Given the complexity of the topic, this chapter will be selective and, from necessity, concentrate relatively briefly on a few key themes. They include the following: · The background to the contemporary relationship between police and Indigenous people. · A discussion of some of the key drivers for reform including the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCADIC), and more recently Aboriginal Justice Advisory Councils (AJACs) and the development of Aboriginal Justice Agreements. · A discussion of some of the key policing approaches specific to Indigenous communities such as Aboriginal liaison officers and Aboriginal community police. · A discussion of some of the key interface issues between police and community including the development of Indigenous community justice mechanisms.

  • (2007) Cunneen, Chris; Gillespie, N.
    Book Chapter
    The long list of shocking cases of Aboriginal deaths in custody exposed by the Royal Commission provided a public understanding of the processes of racism in the criminal justice system and Australian society more generally. The stories of the deaths in custody were the incontrovertible stories of institutional racism, of human tragedy and monumental inhumanity. Some cases showed profound callousness, others simple indifference. The current tragedy is that so many of the circumstances leading to deaths in custody, and identified by the RCADIC, are still routine occurrences. At the broadest level, the political conditions of the late 1990s and the new century have not been conducive in Australia to effective reform of the criminal justice system. There is little doubt that we have moved into a more punitive period in relation to criminal justice responses, and whatever impetus there was to reform in the early 1990s has largely evaporated. We see this drift into ‘law and order’ responses manifested in a range of areas including increased police powers, ‘zero tolerance’ style laws which increase the use of arrest for minor offences, greater levels of bail refusal and longer periods of imprisonment for a range of offences. However, on the positive side there has been a renaissance in Indigenous justice institutions. These provide the potential for significant change in the criminal justice system, and an opportunity for greater recognition of the aspirations of Indigenous people.

  • (2007) Cunneen, Chris; Johnstone, J.; Van Ness, D.
    Book Chapter
    This book chapter demonstrates that simple dichotomies contrasting pre-modern indigenous restorative justice with modern state-centred systems of justice are not necessarily helpful. Indigenous societies were, and are, complex and their processes for dealing with crime and social disorder cover a range of possible responses from the restorative to the retributive. In the chapter, it is argued that a context of hybridity is a more useful representation to consider contemporary developments, where new forms of doing justice are developed which merge the restorative in new practices. The flexibility of new justice practices may accommodate indigenous justice demands, but are not necessarily the same as indigenous practices. Yet as indicated in this chapter there is also a ‘dark’ side to a developing hybridity. Restorative justice has found itself a partner to a greater emphasis on individual responsibility, deterrence and incapacitation. Criminal justice systems that bifurcate by dividing offender populations between the minor offenders and serious repeat offenders have only a limited vision of restorative justice, and indigenous and other minorities are likely to be fast-tracked towards the hard end of the system. There are positive examples of indigenous/state processes merging in a hybrid way and which do respect indigenous claims for greater self-determination and control. In the examples of the indigenous courts and community justice groups we see the justice system reconfigured with different and more restorative values. However, it is also necessary to understand that processes like circle sentencing and indigenous courts exist within a broader state-based legal framework that still prioritise a range of considerations within sentencing. Further, we need to be clear that some indigenous laws and practices do not comply with generally recognised human rights standards. This is not an argument against restorative justice or indigenous justice. It is an argument for considering how we might deal with these conflicts.

  • (2007) Cunneen, Chris; Barclay, E.; Donnermeyer, J.; Scott, J.; Hogg , R.
    Book Chapter
    This chapter considers three issues: the nature of crime and victimisation in Indigenous rural and remote communities; the responses of the Anglo-Australian criminal justice system to Indigenous crime and justice issues; and the potential for developing and strengthening Indigenous responses to crime. In brief, the rural and remote nature of Indigenous communities influences the social and spatial dynamics of crime. Further, government responses have varied depending on the nature of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community. In many respects remote Indigenous communities have tended to have less consistent intervention by justice and welfare agencies, while ‘mixed’ rural communities where Indigenous people comprise a significant minority have tended to have a much stronger law and order presence aimed at controlling Indigenous populations. A further dynamic has been recent work in Indigenous communities aimed at developing localised governance structures to enable communities to deal more effectively with crime prevention and more effective models of sanctioning and rehabilitation (often drawing on various alternatives seen to be more appropriate for Indigenous control).

  • (2009) Greenleaf, Graham; Paliwala, A
    Book Chapter
    Since the mid1990s the Internet's Worldwide Web has provided the necessary technical platform to enable free access to computerised legal information. In many countries the first attempts to exploit the advantages of the web for providing legal information came from the academic sector rather than government, and did so with an explicit ideology of free access provision. Three LIIs played key roles in early developments: the Legal Information Institute (Cornell), AustLII, and LexUM. This paper analyses the development of the Free Access to Law Movement, and its relationship to the broader development of free access to legal information, concluding that it has not yet achieved its full potential, and suggesting some steps forward.

  • (2009) Greenleaf, Graham; Rüßmann, Helmut
    Book Chapter
    Free-access Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) like AustLII have an increasing wealth and diversity of legal data, including legislation from numerous jurisdictions, decisions of both general and specialised tribunals, and sometimes law reform reports, law journals, treaties etc. This profusion of content leads to problems in precision of searches. One way commercial publishers have dealt with this, and added value to their content, is by creating subject-specific research facilities on topics such as environmental law, IP, criminal procedure etc. The challenge for free-access LIIs is that any such value-adding cannot involve the high costs of constant editorial intervention, nor the commissioning of subject-specific commentaries. This paper explains experiments by AustLII to create useful subject-specific 'Libraries' in areas of Australian law such as indigenous law, taxation and industrial law, and on international and humanitarian law (on WorldLII). The experiments involve methods of identifying and isolating within databases of general content that which is on specified subjects, by largely automated and repeatable means, particularly the use of approximating searches. Methods of testing the searches used to construct Libraries are suggested. Once a subject-specific Library is created, it can be used as a context to provide access to equally specific content provided by search engines or commercial publishers. Systems like WorldLII which draw together the content of many LIIs pose similar challenges at the international level, but may make possible international comparative law facilities.