Critical Reflections Upon Australia’s Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths In Custody
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Over a decade after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) tabled its National Report, the report and its 339 recommendations are still cited whenever suggestions are made or policies are introduced which target the over-representation of Indigenous people in custody. It is therefore timely and relevant that its appropriateness in dealing with Indigenous over-representation, and with Indigenous marginalisation generally, be critically reassessed. In particular, there is a need to consider whether the investigative procedures undertaken by the RCIADIC and the political constraints surrounding its inception resulted in non-orthodox information and perspectives being excluded. This paper uses data collected from interviews with 48 people associated with the RCIADIC in order to critically reflect upon the way in which the inquiry was established and conducted to determine whether it was constrained in its ability to fully consider the problems confronting Indigenous Australians when dealing with the Australian justice system.