Source: (2006) International Criminal Justice Review. 16(3): 157-178.

Indigenous peoples are overrepresented in the courts of both Australia and Canada. They face a number of special disadvantages in dealing with the courts that historically have led to the development of special legal services operated by Indigenous people. The kind of legal organization is not the same in these two countries because of differences in their organizational environments. These include demographics, economics, culture, law, politics, ecology, and technology. These factors provided both constraints and opportunities for the new organizations. Examples from two case studies are used: Native Counselling Services of Alberta, Canada, which provides Native Courtworkers and legal information services, and the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, Inc. of South Australia, which provides legal representation and legal information. The case studies indicate that Indigenous legal services organizations must still adapt and innovate by constructing new realities if they are to continue to provide desperately needed services for Indigenous peoples.