Indigenous Identity and Imposed Cultural Protocols
Australia’s Indigenous sentencing courts are a specialist criminal law practice that involves elders and respected persons in the sentencing process of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To participate in Queensland’s Indigenous or Murri Courts: the defendant must identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander or have a connection or kinship to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Queensland or elsewhere; the defendant has pleaded guilty to the offence/s; the offence falls within the jurisdiction of the Queensland Magistrates Court; the defendant is on bail or has been granted bail; and the defendant consents to participating fully in the Murri Court process. As part of the Murri Court process, defendants are required to attend culturally specific bail programs, such as Yarning Circles and Cultural Reports. In this presentation, we discuss the type of cultural protocols imposed upon young Murri Court defendants and in a dialogue explore the kind of tensions that can arise for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people in the legal system.
About the Presenters
Michael Aird is an Adjunct Associate Lecturer in Anthropology in the School of Social Science.
Amelia Radke is a PhD candidate in Anthropology in the School of Social Science.