• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19
  20. 20
    20

Outline the laws and government policies that have shaped and continue to affect Indigenous peoples experiences of criminal justice in Australia. Evaluate indigenous restorative justice alternatives and their appropriateness for cases of sexual a

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Subject Code: 40066 Subject Name: Violence, Women and the Law Student ID Number: 270983 Word Count: 5000 Assignment Name or Number: 'Aboriginal victims of Aboriginal violence do not perceive the criminal justice system as a place where they might seek justice and relief from the daily attacks upon their personal and physical integrity. They feel themselves condemned to suffer.' (Pat O'Shane, 'Corroding the soul of the nation' (2002) 8 UNSW Law Journal Forum 5) Outline the laws and government policies that have shaped and continue to affect Indigenous peoples' experiences of criminal justice in Australia. Evaluate indigenous 'restorative justice' alternatives and their appropriateness for cases of sexual and family violence. You may like to develop some guidelines for non-Indigenous lawyers working in criminal justice positions with Indigenous survivors of sexual and domestic violence. VIOLENCE, WOMEN AND THE LAW I. INTRODUCTION Australia's laws and criminal justice system do not adequately address the issue of violence against indigenous women in their own community. Law and policies developed fail to adequately address the complexity of Aboriginal communities and value systems because they have been created without appropriate consultation or involvement of indigenous people. Further action is required to develop restorative justice alternatives, and to develop a set of guidelines to educate non-indigenous lawyers in dealing with victims. These tools must focus on the unique needs and sensitivities of women who have been victims of, or are experiencing violence in order to prevent and redress this 'corroding of the nation'. The paper focuses on the vastly under developed, yet vital role played by Australian law and policies that prevent and redress violence against aboriginal women in the indigenous community. In contrast to frameworks protecting the rights of Indigenous in other nations, the laws in Australia do not operate sufficiently to address the unique issues faced by Aboriginal women confronted by violence from within their own communities. There is an outstanding need for a pro-active approach to reform the criminal justice system and implement legislation to preserve Aboriginal womens' rights. ...read more.

Middle

The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia found that 'many Aboriginal people feel that the language used in court makes no sense'.17 An Aboriginal person from the Northern Territory felt that, 'Dealing with whitefella law is like falling into a big, black hole and you can't get out'.18 Differences in methods of resolving disputes can also contribute to the feeling of falling into a big black hole. In Aboriginal communities disputes are resolved in the open not hidden behind closed doors and involve not just the parties themselves but the local elders as well in order to mediate and decide upon an appropriate agreement. Though these customary dispute resolution processes may not be fast and efficient but once an outcome is reached that is the end of the matter it is not carried on and is never mentioned again. In this way the court system could also be alienating for Aboriginal women19 as a matter is carried on over a lengthy process and does not necessarily end once the perpetrator is punished as there could be an appeal or they may come into contact with them when they are applying for release, in this way a matter is never really over it is just a stop start process that can span over a number of years. Although customary law processes are not necessarily immediate, once completed (because the purpose is the restoration of peace) the matter is at an end. Aboriginal people stated that they do not understand why the court process takes so long. Aboriginal people consulted by the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia commented that it was 'difficult to understand the effect of a prior criminal record as once a matter is resolved by tribal punishment everyone is equal afterword'20. O'Shane believes responsibility should fall on all levels of government to address the issue. In addressing violence against Aboriginal women the process usually begins and ends with the criminal justice system.21 Yet when Aboriginal women are required to turn to European ...read more.

Conclusion

The essence of the program must be to provide support to the victim, offender and community to heal the harm caused by sexual assault. One key element of the program would be that the perpetrator must be willing to genuinely acknowledge responsibility in order to demonstrate remorse principally to the victims but also to the community, this 'shaming' mechanism is required in order for the perpetrator to provide adequate restitution. The process would be a combination of negotiation and mediation in order to provide each concerned party an opportunity to have their say in an environment that is personal and meaningful to them. The venue does not need to be a conference room it could be a room within a local organisation or perhaps such as the former Maya Healing Centre36, it would provide an open forum in an environment that included Aboriginal artworks and comfortable furniture. By having a venue each party feels comfortable in and feels their cultural identity is being recognised. Such a venue would provide reinforcement that parties are encouraged to present their views which would give the offender the unique opportunity to feel and see the harm they have caused which can work towards behavioural and attitudinal change. Additionally, by conducting the program in an Aboriginal venue controlled by Aboriginal people it will lend the community the sense that they are seeing and feeling real change that will contribute to the balance of harmony within their community. VI. CONCLUSION The sexual abuse of Aboriginal women cannot go unnoticed or dismissed as an 'Aboriginal problem' it is a problem for the whole of society. The criminal justice system is not equipped to deal with the cultural issues that lead to such abuse. A new approach is required one that recognises the needs of the victims and empowers the Aboriginal community to rejuvenate their cultural lore. By empowering the community to develop an approach that they believe will work and fits their needs we will see results. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Other Jurisdictions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Other Jurisdictions essays

  1. Narni Pty Ltd v National Australia Bank Limited. This paper examines the agreement ...

    rights to demand repayment should be exercised so as to not unduly prejudice the borrower's interests" (Paget's Law of Banking, 1996). This prejudice would be overcome if reasonable notice was given of any proposed termination. Finally, the court concluded that there was a term of arrangement between the Bank and

  2. Anticipatory Bail under CRPC. A critical study of the recent amendments and judicial interpretation ...

    a petition for anticipatory bail will give an opportunity to the public prosecutor to provide their version of the facts of the case and arguments. But after the 2005 Amendment Section 438 (1B) has been inserted making mandatory that the court shall before granting a final order it shall give

  1. Elucidate Doctrine of Res Judicata in the Light of Decided Cases

    However, there are limited exceptions to res judicata that allow a party to attack the validity of the original judgment, even outside of appeals. These exceptions--usually called collateral attacks--are typically based on procedural or jurisdictional issues, based not on the wisdom of the earlier court's decision but its authority or competence to issue it.

  2. Constitutional Equality in Singapore. The predominant purpose of unequal treatment under the Constitution ...

    The use of the concept may focus on the impact of equal treatment on the individual.[21] Fredman presents the example of a ban on head coverings prohibiting an individual Sikh schoolboy from donning his turban in school.[22] The removal of the ban, in achieving an equality of outcomes, would only have a limited result on an individual Sikh boy.

  1. Scandalous trademarks. In Australia there has been an increase in the number of ...

    In this sense a trademark can be used for multiple reasons, its primary function is to signify the origin of goods or services, but it can also be used as an indicator of the quality/standards of a product as well as a method for advertising.

  2. Unilateral Divorce in Muslim Law

    Thus, if a husband says to his wife, ?I had divorced thee in talaq-ul-bidda or talaq-ul-bain form?, that is enough and an irrevocable divorce will result. This form of divorce in condemned. It is considered heretical, because of its irrevocability.

  1. Discussion of two articles concerning Australian anti-terrorist surveillance laws.

    control, and when will the government stop obscuring their agenda?s in the name of the ?peoples well being?. He continues by stating that only a vague definition of the likely corrective laws are given, which could in turn apply in a broad manner, thus prosecuting and breaching the basic human

  2. Reasonable Forseeability in Australian Tort Law

    [2] Rick Abel, ?A Critique of Torts? (1990) 37 UCLA Law Review 785-831; Abel?s reference to events such as the Industrial Revolution and the evolution of scientific opinion regarding mental illnesses [3] Prue Vines, Mehera San Roque and Emily Rumble, ?Is ?Nervous Shock? Still a Feminist Issue?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work