Indigeneity, Sovereignty and the Law: Challenging the Processes of Criminalisation
South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 110, No. 2, 2011
15 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 15, 2011
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
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