Indigenous justice

  • National Reconciliation Week action needed to achieve justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

    28th May 2021

    National Reconciliation Week is a reminder that comprehensive action is urgently needed to address the injustices experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • Fighting racism in the healthcare system

    8th Apr 2021

    Despite the common belief that the Australian health system treats everyone equally, George Newhouse and Karina Hawtrey argue that the system operates in a way that disproportionately excludes and harms First Nations people. They discuss the ways in which legal advocates can recognise and assist in fighting racism, including by implementing firm-wide anti-racism policies and taking on cases of medical negligence faced by First Nations clients.

  • Rethinking access to racial justice

    12th Nov 2020

    Despite initial expectations, race discrimination laws have not made as strong a contribution as they might have to First Nations peoples, partly due to problems relating to access to justice and, in particular, the under-utilisation of anti-discrimination legal remedies.

    Dr Fiona Allison and Jodie Luck discuss potential solutions which include reform of the mainstream legal system informed by First Nations peoples’ needs and perspectives, and support of community-led responses to racism, including those likely to increase awareness of legal rights.

  • Lawyers urge Council of Attorneys-General to raise age of criminal responsibility

    24th Jul 2020

    Lawyers are calling for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 14 years when the Council of Attorneys-General meets on Monday to consider the issue.

  • Death sentence for poverty? Why the over-representation of First Nations women prisoners matters during the pandemic

    27th May 2020

    ALA member and a leading advocate for the protection of criminalised women's human rights, Debbie Kilroy OAM, has had her own frightening encounter with the COVID-19 virus. Debbie is desperately worried about the threat to lives if there is an outbreak of the virus in an Australian women’s prison, particularly for over-represented First Nations women, many of whom have chronic health conditions. In this article, Debbie explains the key issues and provides a compelling list of immediate action priorities. 

  • Why releasing some prisoners is essential to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

    9th Apr 2020

    To prevent prisons becoming COVID-19 hotspots, Prof Thalia Anthony argues that the only logical response is decarceration; an emergency measure that is necessary to protect both the health and wellbeing of prisoners and the wider community. Thalia highlights the particular vulnerability of  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, and eventually their families and communities. Indigenous people who are exposed to infection in prisons will return to communities that are ill-equipped to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak; especially communities in regional and remote areas where there is a glaring lack of health services and resources.

  • Justice reinvestment: Key to reducing Indigenous incarceration

    6th Jun 2019

    Professor Tom Calma AO makes the case for justice reinvestment: a community-led, data-driven and place-based alternative to incarceration.

  • Maternal rights must be recognised for the sake of children

    5th Jul 2018

    Anna Kerr and Darelle Duncan discuss the move in NSW towards an increase in permanent adoption from foster care placements, and the negative implications this will have for children's welfare and maternal rights.