Training and guidelines for use

6.165  The Judicial College of Victoria identified the need for judicial education in support of the introduction of provisions requiring sentencing courts to take into account unique and systemic background factors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders. It also noted the benefits of having ‘all involved in delivering justice, including the judiciary, receive cultural awareness and cultural competence education relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’. The College suggested that training should include material relating to the historical and ongoing impact of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, identity, intergenerational trauma, in addition to education about contemporary issues such as the exposure to racism that many experience daily. It should also include cultural competence education, regarding how to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This would involve training on modes of communication, body language, the need for and use of interpreters and related issues. Training was also required to inform the judiciary on the availability of culturally appropriate programs and services. [269]

6.166  Ongoing education and training of the judiciary and legal practitioners to support the introduction of provisions and IERs were widely supported by stakeholders.[270] The ALRC considers training to be a necessary concomitant to the introduction of the recommended provision. Some examples of best-practice training are outlined in Chapter 5, with regard to the requirement to support a similar provision in bail statutes. In that chapter, the ALRC recommends the development of guidelines for use by the judiciary and legal practitioners.[271] If developed, there would be value in also including material in support of the recommendations of this chapter regarding sentencing and Aboriginality.