Source: (2002) University of New South Wales Law Journal. 25(1):228-232.

The purpose of this article is to generate debate about the issues examined in a discussion paper released by the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council (“AJAC”) entitled Holistic Community Justice: A Proposed Response to Aboriginal Family Violence, which explores the current criminal justice response to Aboriginal family violence. The situation of Aboriginal family violence needs to be addressed because cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual assault are disproportionately high among Aboriginal families, and the current criminal justice system does not address this problem effectively. Traditionally, these problems were dealt with within the Aboriginal community. This paper argues that the criminal justice system must now engage the local Aboriginal community to help the victims of these crimes and that there must be an alternative sentencing process for Aboriginal family offenders. Both of these solutions would also increase community involvement and demonstrate the community’s intolerance of family violence.