Crime, Aboriginality and the Decolonisation of Justice: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Crime, Aboriginality and the Decolonisation of Justice

2nd Edition

By Harry Blagg

Federation Press

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Crime, Aboriginality and the Decolonisation of Justice explores contemporary strategies which might reduce the extraordinary levels of imprisonment and victimisation suffered by Aboriginal people in Australia. These are problems that continue to rise despite numerous inquiries and reports.

The book argues that the key factor in resolving these problems is investment in Aboriginal-owned and controlled justice, and justice-related processes, and focuses on how goals of reduced levels of imprisonment and victimisation of Aboriginals might be achieved. It explores the potential for ‘hybrid’ initiatives in the complex ‘liminal’ space between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal domains, for example, Aboriginal community/night patrols, community justice groups, healing centres and Aboriginal courts. This new edition covers emerging issues such as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the context of the role being played by Aboriginal women in creating new engagement strategies that bring together clinicians, lawyers and police to deal with the problem through locally managed alternatives to the formal justice system and reports on the consequences of the Commonwealth Government's contentious 'intervention' in remote Northern Territory communities in 2007.

Harry Blagg disputes the relevance of the western, urban, criminological paradigm to the Aboriginal domain, and questions the application of both contemporary innovations such as restorative justice and mainstream models of policing. He also refutes allegations that Aboriginal customary laws condone violence against women and children, pointing to the wealth of research to the contrary, and suggests these laws contain considerable potential for renewal and healing. This book maintains that unresolved questions of colonisation, decolonisation and sovereignty lie at the heart of debates about criminal justice in post-colonial Australia.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

1. Introduction: Decolonising Criminology

2. Criminal Justice as Waste Management: Modernity and its Shadow

3. Aboriginal Youth: Culture, Resistance and the Dynamics of Self-Destruction

4. Restorative Justice: A Good Idea Whose Time has Gone?

5. Aboriginal People and Policing

6. Aboriginal Self-Policing Initiatives

7. Silenced in Court: Aboriginal People and Court Innovations

8. Family violence

9. Aboriginal Customary Law: From Denial to Recognition

10. Aboriginal Customary Law: From Recognition to Abolition?

11. Governance from Below: Community Justice Mechanisms, Crime and Disorder

Concluding Comments: Moving Forward

About the Author

Harry Blagg is Professor of Criminology and Associate Dean of Research at the Law School, University of Western Australia. He has worked on projects monitoring the recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Aboriginal Customary Laws, Policing on Indigenous and other marginal youth, Indigenous self-policing initiatives in Australia, the impact of family violence on Indigenous communities, and violence prevention programs for Indigenous communities.

His current research interests include diversionary responses to the problem of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) on Aboriginal communities, integrating Aboriginal and mainstream strategies in providing support for Aboriginal women escaping family violence, court innovations, and the role of Aboriginal women in the creation and maintenance of community self-policing. He has published extensively on these issues, including a number of critiques of ‘restorative justice’ as it impacts on Indigenous people.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology