Indigenous Incarceration – enews – Issue 2

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Welcome to the Inquiry

Today the ALRC received final Terms of Reference (TOR) for an Inquiry into incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Draft TOR were released by the Attorney-General’s Department for public consultation at the end of 2016, and the final TOR reflect much of the feedback that was received. The ALRC is to deliver its final report to the Attorney-General in December 2017.

The ALRC will undertake extensive consultation around the country over the next few months with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the legal profession and academics working in the area, and will work towards releasing a Discussion Paper containing proposals for legal reform in June. 

The focus of this Inquiry, as set out in the TOR, is on finding the ways that law reform can help to address the unacceptably high rate of Indigenous incarceration, something that has been described as a national tragedy by the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC. The ALRC acknowledges that much work has already been undertaken in this area and will have regard to the research, inquiries and reports concerning Indigenous incarceration that highlight the complex issues involved. 

As is our practice, over the next few weeks, the ALRC will constitute an Advisory Committee for the Inquiry and will further develop our consultation strategy.

New Commissioner appointed to lead Inquiry

We are delighted to announce the appointment His Honour Judge Matthew Myers AM as an ALRC Commissioner to lead the Indigenous Incarceration Inquiry.

Opportunity for Indigenous law students

The ALRC is always keen to recruit Indigenous law students to its internship program, however we believe this Inquiry particularly offers a unique opportunity to learn about law reform and participate in the law reform process. We strongly encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students interested in working on this Inquiry, to contact us.