Culture versus gender: how the mainstream criminal court system is still getting it wrong
[extract] On 23 October 2010, a newspaper article criticising the use of Indigenous sentencing courts for sentencing offenders of family violence appeared on the front page of The Australian. The article claimed that 'prominent Indigenous activists' believe the courts are 'too lenient and ineffective' when dealing with offences involving family violence. In making this claim the article referred to the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal decision in R v Morgan, in which the offender (who had imprisoned and violently assaulted his 15 year old girlfriend) was released from prison due to a reduction in his sentence as a result of having participated in a Koori Court process. The article failed, however, to address the fact that the decision to reduce the offender's sentence in that particular case was made by a Court of Appeal and not by an Indigenous sentencing court.
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