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Our Perspectives on Current Criminal Law Issues

Indigenous crime is down, imprisonment up. Wait, what?

Indigenous crime rates are down, and down by a lot. BOCSAR has recently released statistics on the period from 2001 to 2015, which show that arrests of Indigenous people for violent offences have dropped by 37 per cent, and for property crime by 33 per cent. Amongst young Indigenous males, arrests for violent crimes have Read more about Indigenous crime is down, imprisonment up. Wait, what?[…]

NTRC Day One: Setting the Stage

The first substantive day of hearings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children introduced a few of the larger themes that the commission will be dealing with. Those themes are: The “Inquiry Mentality” A key concern amongst Indigenous leaders is that the current royal commission will merely be another talkfest (the Read more about NTRC Day One: Setting the Stage[…]

What’s Happening in The Northern Territory?

There are several Don Dale-related legal proceedings happening in the Northern Territory, so at times they tend to blend into one another. Each of these proceedings, though, has different legal (and social) significance, so it is worth spending a bit of time to untangle them from each other. There are three main proceedings: the royal Read more about What’s Happening in The Northern Territory?[…]

Northern Territory Royal Commission: Day One

Day One of the Royal Commission wasn’t day one in any substantive sense – it was merely a directions hearing, the purpose of which was “to inform key stakeholders and the public about the nature and scope of the Commission”. Regarding the scope of the Commission, it has become clear today that the inquiry will focus Read more about Northern Territory Royal Commission: Day One[…]

Juvenile Justice Done Wrong, and How to Do It Right

Before the Northern Territory Royal Commission begins in October, let’s take a short breather to remind ourselves what it is we’re examining. Don Dale showed us the worst of what juvenile detention can be. Four Corners broadcast footage of children as young as thirteen being abused, assaulted and belittled. These children – denied opportunities and Read more about Juvenile Justice Done Wrong, and How to Do It Right[…]

Under cross-examination, ADF Vice-Chief admits guilt of institution

During cross-examination by Peter O’Brien, Vice-Chief Ray Griggs talked openly about the ADF’s failure to protect victims of child sexual abuse. Griggs’ comments came on the very last day of the Royal Commission’s 8-day inquiry into the Australian Defence Force. Peter has been representing three survivors of child sexual abuse at the Royal Commission. One Read more about Under cross-examination, ADF Vice-Chief admits guilt of institution[…]

Media, Misinformation and Punitiveness: The Unholy Trinity

Take a group, and split it into two. Each half is asked to comment on a case. The first group gets their information about the case from a newspaper. The second reads a summary of the court documents. You won’t find a better metaphor of the divide between the informed and the misinformed than this Read more about Media, Misinformation and Punitiveness: The Unholy Trinity[…]

The importance of the work of the Royal Commission

A few sentences is not enough to communicate the full horror of Ken McIlwain’s experience, so instead we will give a mechanical retelling of his story. As a cadet in the Australian Defence Force Ken was sexually assaulted, repeatedly, by two senior members. When he approached medical officers, they brushed him off and gave him Read more about The importance of the work of the Royal Commission[…]