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New Koori court launched

Briefs

Cite as: September 2014 88 (09) LIJ, p.15

The Melbourne Magistrates Koori Court was launched in July. It is the eighth adult Koori court in Victoria. There are also seven children’s Koori courts.

The state’s 15 Koori courts employ 19 Aboriginal people, with another 80 elders and respected persons engaged in the process which takes place in a less formal setting.

For a case to be heard in a Koori court, a person who is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander must plead guilty to a charge and be willing to come to court and talk about their offending and its context. Sexual offence cases and breach of intervention orders are not heard by Koori courts.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said Koori courts were a key element of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement, the state government’s blueprint for reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the justice system as offenders and victims.

“The Koori courts initiative has helped improve justice outcomes for the Koori community for the benefit of all Victorians,” Mr Clark said.

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