An Australian Indigenous-focussed justice response to intimate partner violence: offenders' perceptions of the sentencing process
This article draws on research conducted over the past four years on the use of Indigenous sentencing courts in Australia for sentencing Indigenous offenders of intimate partner violence (IPV). It presents interview findings of offenders’ perceptions of justice of a sentencing process that involves the participation of Elders and Community Representatives, as moral and cultural guides. This study concludes that the vast majority of interview participants found an Indigenous sentencing court process is fairer than a mainstream sentencing court process despite the fact that it is more challenging and confronting facing Elders and Community Representatives when being sentenced for an IPV offence. Their respect for Elders and Community Representatives, and the respect afforded to Elders and Community Representatives by the mainstream criminal justice system created a forum that both ‘shamed’ and supported the offenders in ways that reflected cultural values and norms.