ATS2553 - Indigenous justice in Australia - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Professor Lynette Russell


Professor Lynette Russell
Dr Jeremy Ash

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Completion of two first year gateway criminology units or one first year gateway Indigenous cultures and histories unit.


The unit introduces students to issues of Indigenous justice and injustice in Australia. This unit focuses on critically understanding the relationship between colonialism in Australia, Indigenous Law and systems of justice and contemporary concerns of injustice. By understanding the role of the criminal justice system in histories of Australian colonialism, students will learn how the criminal justice system has attempted to manage Aboriginal people from the European settlement into the present. Considering crime and criminal justice through a settler-colonial lens, students will learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices about experiences of crime and criminal justice, emerging trends in Indigenous justice and consider ways to improve and 'decolonise' current forms of criminal justice. Drawing upon Indigenous perspectives and critical inter-disciplinary work, students will examine topics such as: Indigenous customary law, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, mandatory sentencing practices, and the policing of public space, language in court systems and Koori courts.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. recognise the ongoing significance of the criminal justice system in Indigenous justice and injustice;
  2. critically engage with concepts vital to Indigenous justice and injustice concerning the operation and structure of the Australian criminal justice system;
  3. communicate in respectful and culturally appropriate and sensitive ways;
  4. reflect on their own connections to critical Indigenous issues;
  5. generate and present respectful scholarship that is informed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives on racialised inequality within the criminal justice system.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Indigenous cultures and histories

Bachelor of Criminology