Why do Aboriginal people need fairer justice?

The Hon. Justice Dean Mildren

The Hon. Justice Dean Mildren
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Wednesday, 14 March 2007

An Australian Supreme Court judge will give a free public lecture at the University of Adelaide at 1.10pm on Friday about the need to address the reasons behind high imprisonment rates for Aboriginal people.

The Hon. Justice Dean Mildren from the Supreme Court, Darwin, is in Adelaide this week as part of the Distinguished Visiting Judge Program being run by the University of Adelaide's Law School.

Justice Mildren, who has been a Justice of the Supreme Court in the Northern Territory since 1991, has a special interest in Aboriginal people's treatment in the criminal justice system and in tribal justice.

"From the 19th to the mid 20th century, the criminal justice system was employed harshly and unevenly at every stage of the process when dealing with offences involving Aborigines, whether as defendants, victims or witnesses," Justice Mildren says.

"During the last 20 years, considerable progress has been made towards providing a system which is fair and just. Nevertheless, Aboriginal people have maintained an imprisonment rate which is disproportionate to the population as a whole."

The free public lecture will examine the reasons behind this.

"There are a number of underlying factors which must be addressed before Aboriginal people can achieve equal and adequate protection from the rule of law. The Courts also have a role in providing a fairer system of criminal justice, including the special considerations which arise in the trial and sentencing of Aboriginal offenders," Justice Mildren says.

WHAT: Free public lecture: Aboriginals in the Criminal Justice System, by The Honourable Justice Dean Mildren

WHERE: Lecture Theatre 2, Level 3, Ligertwood Building, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide

WHEN: 1.10pm - 2.10pm Friday 16 March


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