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  Alternative Law Journal   (Australia)
  Volume 33, Number 1, March 2008
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  • Articles
  • Interpreting Aboriginal justice in the Territory
        Caroline Heske
                                                                                               +cite        
        Aboriginal interpreters who work in the criminal justice system perform a demanding, thankless, and even dangerous job. They are essential to obtaining justice for Aboriginal victims and defendants alike, and their scarcity fundamentally impedes efforts to improve justice outcomes for Aboriginal Australians. Focusing particularly on the NT, this article identifies the ways in which law, legal culture, and lack of funding intersect to undervalue Aboriginal interpreters in the criminal justice system.
  • Citizens' juries pave the way to the law courts
        Lyn Carson and Ron Lubensky
                                                                                               +cite        
        Citizens' juries are increasingly being used by the political executive to engage a cross section of citizens in decision-making about public policy. Whilst there are many differences in procedure and application between citizens' and trial juries, the deliberatin carried out in both is valued by the public sphere as democracy in action. With the experience of trial jury service shrouded in secrecy in Australia and elsewhere, the more open experience of citizens' juries can pave the way to a better understanding of deliberation and less reticence towards participation.
  • Traditional notions of the Attorney-General: Time for some justice
        Fiona Hanlon
                                                                                               +cite        
        This article questions traditions about the office of Attorney-General and argues that the title be replaced with one that better reflects its nature as a political office.
  • Axioms of aggression: Counter-terrorism and counter-productivity in Australia
        Waleed Aly
                                                                                               +cite        
        Since the 11 September terrorist attacks in 2001, counter-terrorism has loomed large over the Australian political stage, characterised by a methodological belligerence in which events are highly politicised and suspects are confronted with considerable aggression. This article argues that such axiomatic aggression is destined to be counter-productive.
  • Emergency welfare reforms: A mirror to the past?
        Jo Sutton
                                                                                               +cite        
        Examining the welfare reforms enacted by the former Federal Government as part of the 'Northern Territory emergency response', this article highlights the differing elements of the income management regime forindigenous NT communities compared with measures intended elsewhere.
  • From neutral to drive: Australian anti-discrimination law and identity
        Andrew Thackrah
                                                                                               +cite        
        This article examines the way that Australian anti-discrimination law understands and structures individual and collective identities. It argues that in a number of ways this body of law fails to reflect the complexity of collective identities and the reality of how discrimination is experienced. In particular, it highlights the blindness of Australian anti-discrimination law to 'intersectional' discrimination, the potential for the law to essentialise collective attributes, and the limits of 'neutral' rights based statutes. A number of suggestions are advanced as to how existing anti-discrimination laws may be improved. More broadly it is suggested that 'third generation' proposals to develop a wider ranging body of legislation that aims to achieve specific outcomes (such as equality or social inclusion), without defining identity focused protected grounds, have the advantage of bringing about substantive rather than procedural outcomes. Such proposals also avoid the practical and political difficulties involved with legislating in relation to collective attributes.
  • Recognising same-sex parents: Bringing legitimacy to the law
        John Tobin
                                                                                               +cite        
        Children living in same-sex parented families have an entitlement under international law that their parents be recognised. The time has come to make a genuine commitment to children and their rights, irrespective of the sexual orientation of their parents. Anything less must be seen to leave the status of the law, rather than the status of such families, in a state of illegitimacy.
  • Restorative Justice process in case law
        John M McDonald
                                                                                               +cite        
        Recently in the NSW Land and Environment Court parties in a criminal matter involving environmental offences and the destruction of Aboriginal artefacts participated in a restorative justice process. This brought the parties together, achieved a significant and ongoing improvement in relationships and influenced the eventual outcome of the case.
  • A response to Louis Nowra
        Larissa Behrendt and Nicole Watson
                                                                                               +cite        
        In 2007 Louis Nowra published works depicting contemporary Aboriginal communities as sites of horrific violence against Aboriginal women and children. Nowra was celebrated by elements of the press and the right-wing think tank, the Bennelong Society, for his courage to expose abuse. However, his work was subject to little scrutiny, in particular, his failure to report alleged confessions by perpetrators of child sexual abuse to the police. In this critique, the authors respond to Nowra.

  • Columns
  • Asia-Pacific: Active inaction: How the international community is failing Burma
        Carol Ransley
                                                                                               +cite        
        Drawing attention to the economic and human rights crisis in Burma the author points to inaction by the UN as an opportunity lost to help the Burmese people.