Indigeneity, Sovereignty and the Law: Challenging the Processes of Criminalisation

South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 110, No. 2, 2011

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2011-11

15 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2011

See all articles by Chris Cunneen

Chris Cunneen

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney; University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences; James Cook University - Cairns Campus

Date Written: January 15, 2011

Abstract

The processes of criminalisation lay the foundation for creating significant disadvantage among Indigenous people across the former settler societies of Australia, New Zealand and North America. Yet the massive incarceration of Indigenous people has not resulted in ensuring the safety of individuals within Indigenous communities. Imposed criminal justice systems have not ensured the maintenance of social order in Indigenous communities. This article explores the relationship between Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system.

Throughout Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand Indigenous communities continue to exercise authority, or have at least attempted to develop localised methods of dealing with problems of social disorder. Indigenous practice has provided us with the opportunity and the necessity to re-think the possibilities of a postcolonial relationship between criminal justice institutions and Indigenous communities. The article argues that the recognition of Indigenous claims to governance offer the possibility of new ways of thinking about criminal justice responses to entrenched social problems like crime.

Keywords: Criminalisation, Indigenous People

Suggested Citation

Cunneen, Chris, Indigeneity, Sovereignty and the Law: Challenging the Processes of Criminalisation (January 15, 2011). South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 110, No. 2, 2011; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2011-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1744443

Chris Cunneen (Contact Author)

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

James Cook University - Cairns Campus ( email )

PO Box 6811
Cairns, Queensland 4870
Australia

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