The Role of Indigenous Justice Agreements in Improving Legal and Social Outcomes for Indigenous People

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, pp. 645-669, 2010

25 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2013

See all articles by Fiona Allison

Fiona Allison

James Cook University - Cairns Campus

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: 2010

Abstract

Driven for the most part by recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, Australian states and territories over the last two decades have introduced Indigenous Justice Agreements and related strategic frameworks in the hope of addressing consistently high rates of Indigenous incarceration and improving justice service delivery to Indigenous people. Through analysis of relevant policy frameworks and associated policy material, rather than statistical analysis alone, we seek to examine whether strategic planning in this area is actually improving Indigenous justice outcomes as intended. We apply seven criteria as a basis for our assessment of policy outcomes.

Despite significant shortcomings, we conclude that quality, Indigenous justicerelated strategic planning does have a positive impact, at the very least through the focus it provides for government to work towards addressing Indigenous justice issues, including Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system and victimisation. Further development of effective policy is essential. In this context, the dismantling over time of Aboriginal advisory and/or representative bodies and its impact upon policy development is noted as a point of particular concern.

Keywords: Indigenous Justice Agreements, Australia, indigenous incarceration

Suggested Citation

Allison, Fiona and Cunneen, Chris, The Role of Indigenous Justice Agreements in Improving Legal and Social Outcomes for Indigenous People (2010). Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, pp. 645-669, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2200701

Fiona Allison

James Cook University - Cairns Campus ( email )

Cairns, Queensland 4870
Australia

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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