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Simon Corbell moving offences away from the Supreme Court’s Torpid Languor

By 9 December 2010 10

I’ll take this moment to remind you of the High Court’s opinion of the ACT Supreme Court:

The presentation and adjudication of the case in the courts below do cause it to merit a place in the precedent books. The reasons for placing it there turn on the numerous examples it affords of how litigation should not be conducted or dealt with. The proceedings reveal a strange alliance. A party which has a duty to assist the court in achieving certain objectives fails to do so. A court which has a duty to achieve those objectives does not achieve them. The torpid languor of one hand washes the drowsy procrastination of the other. Are these phenomena indications of something chronic in the modern state of litigation? Or are they merely acute and atypical breakdowns in an otherwise functional system? Are they signs of a trend, or do they reveal only an anomaly? One hopes for one set of answers. One fears that, in reality, there must be another.

With that in mind, Simon Corbell has announced that he’s trying to move more criminal matters to the Magistrate’s Court:

More than 60 offences currently heard in the ACT Supreme Court would be heard in the Magistrates Court as part of a suite of reforms to reduce pressure on the Supreme Court, Attorney General, Simon Corbell said today.

Mr Corbell tabled the Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 which comes after the introduction of the Bail Amendment Bill 2010 in the November sitting.

“These two Bills will act together to reform the way the two different courts are administered in the ACT, and are designed specifically to reduce case pressure in the Supreme Court,” Mr Corbell said.

“The Courts Legislation Bill sets out an increase to the jurisdiction of the ACT Magistrates Court, which will allow the court to hear criminal matters up to or including a maximum penalty of five years and civil matters up to $250,000.

“This moves a significant amount of offences, that currently can be heard in the Supreme Court, to the Magistrates Court where they can be dealt with appropriately while untying resources in the Supreme Court.”

Perhaps burying the lead Simon has also announced he’s setting up a “Galambany Court” whereby indigenous Canberrans have a difference justice system involving circle sentencing.

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UPDATE: The Greens have expressed disappointment at a lack of human rights analysis.

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10 Responses to Simon Corbell moving offences away from the Supreme Court’s Torpid Languor
#1
D212:30 pm, 09 Dec 10

Does circle sentencing work?

If it does, why should Aborigines be the only ones to benefit from it?

#2
Kuku2:33 pm, 09 Dec 10

To clear up some misconceptions, the Circle is based on traditional forms of indigenous justice and is a worldwide form of justice for Indigenous people. It is used in Canada, NZ, US etc etc. The idea is akin to shaming.

It is similar to any other court, presided over by a magistrate and suitable punishment is given by the circle and magistrate. It is for minor offences only. And participants do not just walk away, they may end up with sentence, PD etc.

It is not one court for them and one court for everyone else. That’s just scaremongering.

#3
georgesgenitals4:32 pm, 09 Dec 10

georgesgenitals said :

Circle is based on traditional forms of indigenous justice and is a worldwide form of justice for Indigenous people

It is not one court for them and one court for everyone else. That’s just scaremongering.

It sure sounds like one court for some and another for the rest of us…

#4
Kuku6:00 pm, 09 Dec 10

Kuku said :

Kuku said :

Circle is based on traditional forms of indigenous justice and is a worldwide form of justice for Indigenous people

It is not one court for them and one court for everyone else. That’s just scaremongering.

It sure sounds like one court for some and another for the rest of us…

So based on that logic you’re saying there shouldn’t be Children’s Courts, Drug Courts, Restorative Justice either?

#5
georgesgenitals6:56 pm, 09 Dec 10

Kuku said :

georgesgenitals said :

georgesgenitals said :

Circle is based on traditional forms of indigenous justice and is a worldwide form of justice for Indigenous people

It is not one court for them and one court for everyone else. That’s just scaremongering.

It sure sounds like one court for some and another for the rest of us…

So based on that logic you’re saying there shouldn’t be Children’s Courts, Drug Courts, Restorative Justice either?

georgesgenitals said :

georgesgenitals said :

Circle is based on traditional forms of indigenous justice and is a worldwide form of justice for Indigenous people

It is not one court for them and one court for everyone else. That’s just scaremongering.

It sure sounds like one court for some and another for the rest of us…

So based on that logic you’re saying there shouldn’t be Children’s Courts, Drug Courts, Restorative Justice either?

Your words, not mine.

How about having a legal adults court? Dividing courts by offences is one thing, by race another.

#6
JessicaNumber7:13 pm, 09 Dec 10

I’m all in favour of restitution and rehabilitation. I think it’s great that offenders should be brought back into their community rather than sent further out of it.

Kuku said :

So based on that logic you’re saying there shouldn’t be Children’s Courts, Drug Courts, Restorative Justice either?

Would you send an Aboriginal drug offender to drug court or Aboriginal court? Does she need help with her drug issues or has the colour of her skin let her down?

I am extremely wary of politicians and policy writers trying to deal with criminal offences as “Aboriginal affairs.” We are talking about humans and we all deserve the best jurisprudence, including sentencing that will most effectively rehabilitate the individual offender. We all come from many different cultures and have absorbed the values and beliefs of our friends from different backgrounds so cultural sensitivity should apply to all cases. Stop creating a default “us” and trying to single out various examples of “them” and maybe the system will seem more relevant to disaffected offenders.

#7
Serenace18:38 pm, 09 Dec 10

What is wrong with the supreme court all of a sudden? I think there is probably another motivation behind the move.

#8
Kuku9:17 pm, 09 Dec 10

Kuku said :

I’m all in favour of restitution and rehabilitation. I think it’s great that offenders should be brought back into their community rather than sent further out of it.

Kuku said :

So based on that logic you’re saying there shouldn’t be Children’s Courts, Drug Courts, Restorative Justice either?

Would you send an Aboriginal drug offender to drug court or Aboriginal court? Does she need help with her drug issues or has the colour of her skin let her down?

I am extremely wary of politicians and policy writers trying to deal with criminal offences as “Aboriginal affairs.” We are talking about humans and we all deserve the best jurisprudence, including sentencing that will most effectively rehabilitate the individual offender. We all come from many different cultures and have absorbed the values and beliefs of our friends from different backgrounds so cultural sensitivity should apply to all cases. Stop creating a default “us” and trying to single out various examples of “them” and maybe the system will seem more relevant to disaffected offenders.

Good point…

A drug problem is a drug problem etc etc but if it’s a so-called misdemeanor then if an Indigenous person would benefit from shaming from their own community then go for it.

I wish this form of justice was available for minor offenders, so the court system was not clogged. And I do wish that the dominant culture would perhaps adopt some of our justice systems, like this, to allow everyone to participate. But until they do, unfortunately, its pitted as an ‘us and them’ and people buy into that.

#9
Antagonist9:28 pm, 09 Dec 10

D2 said :

Does circle sentencing work?

Yes, it does work. It has been very successful where used in NSW. Circle sentencing is part of the court process and results in convictions and criminal records for offenders. It is NOT an easy way out.

http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/law/circle-sentencing.html

#10
Pork Hunt9:31 pm, 10 Dec 10

Kuku wrote:

“A drug problem is a drug problem etc etc but if it’s a so-called misdemeanor then if an Indigenous person would benefit from shaming from their own community then go for it.

I wish this form of justice was available for minor offenders, so the court system was not clogged. And I do wish that the dominant culture would perhaps adopt some of our justice systems, like this, to allow everyone to participate. But until they do, unfortunately, its pitted as an ‘us and them’ and people buy into that.”

So should the “dominant culture” not then accept Sharia law for those that are subject to it in their home countries?

What about me as a person of Finnish origin, should I be judged by my countrymen and “shamed” in front of them as my punishment?

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