Recognising Disadvantage : Sentencing Indigenous Offenders

2004 WordsAug 28, 20149 Pages
Recognising Disadvantage: Sentencing Indigenous Offenders Aim of Thesis • To identify the extent in which Indigenous people are disadvantaged in Australia and critically evaluate whether this disadvantage warrants special consideration when sentencing Aboriginal offenders. • To map the development and recognition of disadvantage stemming from Aboriginality as a mitigating factor when sentencing Indigenous offenders in Australian courts. • To identify and critically analyse the extent to which membership of the Stolen Generation is a consideration in sentencing in Australia. • To critically evaluate the impact of the cases R v Bugmy and R v Munda on the existing case law. • To undertake a critical analysis of the Canadian approach, specifically the consideration of systemic disadvantage of First Nations individuals and make comparisons to the Australian system. Background and Reason for the Inquiry Indigenous Australians remain largely overrepresented in all aspects of the Criminal Justice system. However, in the sentencing context Australian Courts have been reluctant to accept that Aboriginality per se is a mitigating factor. It is often argued that given the level of disadvantage and the effects of colonisation, Aboriginality remains an important consideration. Indeed, Courts have taken disadvantage arising from Aboriginality into account many times. This has particularly been the case following the findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in
Open Document