Reflections on criminal justice policy since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody

Cunneen, Chris (2007) Reflections on criminal justice policy since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. In: Gillespie, Neil, (ed.) Reflections: 40 years on from the 1967 referendum. Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, Adelaide, SA, Australia, pp. 135-145.

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Abstract

[Extract] The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCADIC) was established in 1987 and reported to the Federal Parliament in 1991. It was generated by the activism of Aboriginal organisations, including the Committee to Defend Black Rights and Aboriginal Legal Services, and by the efforts of the families of those who had died in custody and their supporters. The Royal Commission provided a benchmark in the examination of Indigenous relations with the criminal justice system.

The Commission found that the high number of Aboriginal deaths in custody was directly relative to the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody. However, failure by custodial authorities to exercise a proper duty of care was also exposed by the Royal Commission. The Commission found that there was little understanding of the duty of care owed by custodial authorities, that there were many system defects in relation to exercising care, and that there were many failures to exercise proper care. In some cases, the failure to offer proper care directly contributed to, or caused, the death in custody.

Item ID: 15458
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: Aboriginal Australians; civil rights; legal status; laws; government relations; referendum Australia; South Australia; social conditions
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ISBN: 978-0-9775994-2-4
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2011 23:49
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220104 Human Rights and Justice Issues @ 50%
18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law @ 30%
18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180114 Human Rights Law @ 20%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940401 Civil Justice @ 20%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940403 Criminal Justice @ 50%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development and Welfare @ 30%
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