BiographyDr Thalia Anthony is an expert on criminal law and procedure and Indigenous people and the law. Her research is grounded in legal history and understandings of the colonial legacy in legal institutions. She has developed new approaches to researching and understanding the role of the criminal law in governing Indigenous communities and how the state regulates Indigenous-based justice strategies. Her research is informed by fieldwork in Indigenous communities such as Warlpiri communities in central Australia and partnerships with Indigenous legal organisations in Australia and overseas. Dr Anthony’s scholarship is published in a number of books, including her influential monograph, Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment (Routledge 2013) and a forthcoming book with Professor Harry Blagg, Decolonising Criminology.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Indignous justice; criminal justice; criminal procedure; sentencing; policing; civil remedies; legal history, postcolonial studies
By: Thalia Anthony
Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice
The line between a person being at liberty and locked up in a police cell is drawn by the power of arrest. This power is set aside for serious offenders who present a risk to the public. They are arrested in accordance with procedural requirements, which include laying charges requiring a court appearance.
These limits on the power of arrest protect individuals against arbitrary detention in police cells. The Northern Territory government recently introduced laws that cross this line. The harsh consequences of these laws were felt last week when a 59-year-old Indigenous man detained under these powers died in the Darwin watch house.
The laws extended the capacity of police to detain people without filling out necessary paperwork or even laying charges. These powers have been labelled “paperless arrests”.