Aboriginal Australia and Natural Justice

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Aboriginal men and women continue to be grossly over-represented in police and prison custodial settings. In 1987 the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was established primarily because deaths in custody were far too common. Commission findings, including over 300 recommendations, were finally publicly released in 1991. In a number of significant ways, it was revealed that the 'scene had been set' for premature death both inside and outside custody. In part that 'scene had been set' because of the ongoing consequences of colonisation and the legal doctrine euphemistically known as 'natural justice'. 'Natural justice' implies, rather than assures, equality for all before the law. Such fundamental inequality found, and continues to find, intense and tragic expression in high levels of incarceration and deaths in custody.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993


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