Source: (2011) International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 55(7) 1110–1134

This article reports some of the findings of an evaluation of the Children’s Koori Court (CKC)—the first legislated effort in Australia to involve the Indigenous community in the sentencing of young Aboriginal offenders as a strategy for reducing their overrepresentation in the juvenile justice system. A prominent feature of this court of summary jurisdiction is that the presiding magistrate, while remaining the sentencing authority, is assisted by Aboriginal Elders. This article focuses on the evaluation findings that were derived from observations of the CKC in action. They indicate that the operational objective of cultural responsiveness was realized. They also point to realization of the community-building goal—fostering Indigenous ownership of the administration of the law. Little slippage was found between the CKC’s design and operation, although some areas of improvement were identified. Nevertheless, the scope for the CKC by itself to significantly reduce overrepresentation is limited.(Author's Abstract)