Interrelationship : Aboriginal & Australian justice system :
The recognition of aboriginal customary laws under the Australian Criminal justice system is just confined to acknowledgement of just the traditional physical punishments at the stage of sentencing. It all depends upon the interpretation and readings of individuals who play a role in the Criminal justice system in the capacity of judicial officers, officers of the court, lawyers and police officers etc. (Aboriginal Law& criminal justice,Law Reform Commission,W.Australia)
Comparison between Aboriginal & Australian justice system :
There are certain areas of conflict between the Aboriginal Justice system and the Australian Law. Persons following the aboriginal customary laws if give out traditional bodily punishments prevalent under the customary law may be regarded as an offender under the australian law. Similarly there are several initiation practices under the the customary law that constitute criminal offence. Some scholars have proposed to make the traditional punishments of the aboriginal people as lawful under the Australian legal system but there are an equal number of critics for the proposal as well. They say that it should be on case to case basis rather making every provision of customary law legal. (Aboriginal Law& criminal justice,Law Reform Commission,W.Australia)
There are several inconsistencies between the aboriginal law and the australian law, for e.g. if a person commits a crime governed under the australian law then in that case he will be liable to punishment but if an aboriginal person violates both the customary law and australian law then in that case he will be liable to be punished under both laws or in effect getting double punishment for a single offence or double jeopardy. (Aboriginal Law& criminal justice,Law Reform Commission,W.Australia)
There are considerable differences between the methods of dispute resolution under the aboriginal law and the Australian law. Aboriginal dispute resolution methods actively involve members of the family and community whereas, under the Australian system complete strangers to the dispute adjudicate and hand out punishments. (Aboriginal Law& criminal justice,Law Reform Commission,W.Australia)
The parties to a dispute take an active part in the dispute resolution under the aboriginal law whereas, under the Australian legal system litigants are represented by advocates.
Decision making under the aboriginal law is a collective effort while under the australian law it can be termed as hierarchal. (Aboriginal Law& criminal justice,Law Reform Commission,W.Australia)
If we take facts and figures in to consideration then we will find that there is over-representation of aboriginal people within the criminal justice system as offenders in comparison to other people governed under the australian law. It can be said in broad terms that the over-representation could be due to the fact of offending acts, their social and economic...