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Indigenous Law (Australia)


Finding leading cases on a topic 

Use secondary sources such as books and commentary. For example, Native Title (in Halsbury's Laws of Australia on Lexis + Australia) and Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (on Westlaw AU) are arranged by topic. The commentary in each topic refers to significant and noteworthy cases.

Finding all case on Indigenous issues

Courts dealing exclusively with Indigenous Matters 


State and Territory 

Currently, Queensland, NSW, South Australia and Victoria have Indigenous sentencing courts for summary offences (at the Magistrates and Children's Court levels). The Victorian County Koori Court is the only sentencing court for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders in an indictable jurisdiction in Australia. Indigenous sentencing courts do not practice or adopt Indigenous customary laws: they use Australian criminal laws and procedures to sentence Indigenous offenders. However, they allow Indigenous Elders and Respected Persons to participate in the process, with the intention of creating a more culturally appropriate forum for sentencing Indigenous offenders

  • Decisions of these courts are included in databases that contain judgments of lower-level courts.


For information on these courts, see for example the following open access publications:


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In addition, there are many initiatives to seek to make the court process more responsive to the needs of Indigenous participants. For example, there are Aboriginal legal and victim support services and judicial education, including judicial bench books, to educate judicial officers about interacting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in court and sentencing Indigenous offenders. For more information, see:

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Websites ​

Books ​

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