'A Tragedy of Monumental Proportions': Indigenous Australians and the Sentencing Process

Social and Legal Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 197-216, 2010

University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 10-19

1 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2010

See all articles by Heather Douglas

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law

Jennifer C. Corrin

The University of Queensland, Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law, TC Beirne School of Law

Date Written: June 26, 2010

Abstract

This article explores the tensions between the principles of rehabilitation and community protection in the sentencing of Aboriginal people, especially in the context of dysfunctional and remote Aboriginal communities. In order to explore these tensions, the article draws on the issues raised in a recent Australian case involving the sentencing of nine young Aboriginal men and boys who pleaded guilty to the rape of a 10-year-old girl in a remote Aboriginal community in the far north of Australia. Although many Aboriginal women have called for greater protection for women and children by the criminal justice system, they have argued for community restoration rather than incarceration. This article suggests that, in the context of remote Aboriginal Australia, the focus on victim protection has served to entrench oppression through the continued sentencing preference of incarceration. The article concludes with a call for the decolonisation of justice and explores options by which this might be achieved.

Keywords: Indigenous people, sentencing, community protection, rehabilitation, decolonisation of justice

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Heather and Corrin, Jennifer C., 'A Tragedy of Monumental Proportions': Indigenous Australians and the Sentencing Process (June 26, 2010). Social and Legal Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 197-216, 2010 ; University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 10-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1670528

Heather Douglas (Contact Author)

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Jennifer C. Corrin

The University of Queensland, Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law, TC Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia
07 33652295 (Phone)

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