Lessons learned; accountability and closure: is the coronial process providing what is needed to Indigenous communities?

Shircore, Mandy (2010) Lessons learned; accountability and closure: is the coronial process providing what is needed to Indigenous communities? Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, 3 (1 and 2). pp. 55-64.

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On Friday the 14 October 2005, the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (‘DIMIA’) owned monitoring vessel, the Malu Sara, sunk while travelling from Sabai Island to Badu Island in the Torres Strait. All five of the people on board, including two Indigenous Departmental officers and three passengers drowned. The findings of the coronial inquest into the loss of the vessel confirms that the tragedy was entirely preventable and highlights the appalling and parlous state of services provided to Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander persons living in remote communities. From the commissioning of vessels, to the building and inspection process, to the training of Movement Monitoring Officers, to the response to the calls for assistance, through to the initial investigation into the loss of the vessel, the tragedy is riddled with incompetence, apathy, racially motivated and inappropriate assumptions and a lack of accountability. For the Indigenous communities involved who are seeking answers including how the tragedy was allowed to occur, how such occurrences in their communities will be prevented in the future, and whether parties involved will be held to account for their conduct; questions remain as to whether the coronial process in Queensland are able to adequately address such concerns. Using the Malu Sara inquest as a case study, this paper will look at how provisions under the Coroners Act 2003 (Qld) have recently been interpreted and applied, with particular emphasis on the intersection between the role of the Coroner and the criminal process.

Item ID: 15758
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-5620
Keywords: Indigenous communities, Indigenous people
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Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2011 22:26
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law @ 50%
18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180102 Access to Justice @ 50%
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