The Koori Court Revisited: A Review of Cultural and Language Awareness in the Administration of Justice
Monash University - Faculty of Law
Australian Law Librarian, Vol. 18, No. 3, p. 184, 2010
Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010/42
There is currently an over-representation of Indigenous offenders in the Australian prison system. An understanding of the relationship between language and the law is an essential component of the administration of justice, even more so when dealing with disadvantaged offenders. This review is part of preliminary sociolinguistic study of one of the specialist court programs in Australia which aims to demonstrate that understanding – the Koori Court of Victoria. A key question guiding the review, is to identify whether an awareness of cultural and linguistic differences in the administration of justice has continued to be the focus of this Court since its inception in 2002.
Miscommunication can occur between Indigenous offenders and legal professionals in the mainstream legal system, when an assumption is made that because a person speaks English, they understand what is being said. This does not take into considerations differences in culture and language, and disadvantage may occur for an offender who is unable to understand the legal process or communicate his story in his own words.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: indigenous offenders, prison system, language, disadvantaged offenders, culture, Koori Court, English
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14, K19, K20, K29, K30, K39, K40, K42, K49
Date posted: October 4, 2011