Bringing back Queensland’s Murri Courts will help Close The Gap

Posted on March 19, 2015

The union is asking the Palaszczuk government to take steps to bring back Queensland’s Murri Courts.

Together President Vivienne Doogan said today, “All the evidence shows the Murri Courts helped to keep people out of jail and get them back in the community.

“A lot of work needs to be done by this new government to restore proper support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.”

The Murri Courts were established to reduce incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.*

Indigenous Elders were brought in to assist magistrates with cultural issues as part of the previous Queensland Murri court program.*

The union says there’s evidence Queensland’s Murri Courts achieved many of its goals including  addressing justice issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders while reducing offence rates.+

One major national study indicated the Murri court program resulted in improved health and social wellbeing for participants, although it was not a stated aim of the courts.+

In 2011, the Bligh government acknowledged the Queensland judicial system was enhanced through the involvement of Murri Court Elders and Community Elders.

“The Newman government made it very clear the Murri courts were not a priority for them,” Ms Doogan said.

“Research clearly shows the previous successes of the Murri courts, where four out of every five offenders who had appeared had not reoffended*.”

Sources

*Queensland Parliamentary Library – Murri Courts

+Australian Government Institute of Criminology – Evaluation of the Queensland

Murri Court

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members@together.org.au
Connect today 1800 177 244 members@together.org.au