Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment examines criminal sentencing courts’ changing characterisations of Aboriginal peoples’ identity, culture and postcolonial status.
Focusing largely on Australian Aboriginal peoples, but drawing also on the Canadian experiences, Thalia Anthony critically analyses how the judiciary have interpreted Aboriginal difference.
Through an analysis of Aboriginal sentencing remarks over a 50-year period in a number of jurisdictions, the book demonstrates how judicial discretion is moulded to dominant white assumptions about Aboriginality.
More specifically, Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment shows how the increasing demonisation of Aboriginal criminality and culture in sentencing has turned earlier ‘gains’ in the legal recognition of Aboriginal peoples on their head.
The recognition of Aboriginal difference is thereby revealed as a pliable concept that is just as likely to remove concessions as it is to grant them.
Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment suggests that Aboriginal justice requires a two-way recognition process where Aboriginal people and legal systems are afforded greater control in sentencing, dispute resolution and Aboriginal healing.