Koori Court expands to Melbourne

Victoria’s culturally-appropriate Indigenous sentencing system expanded again last week, with the launch of a Koori Court division at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court—the busiest court in the State. Attorney-General Robert Clark said, “The Koori Courts initiative has helped improve justice outcomes for the Koori community for the benefit of all Victorians. Not only have Koori Courts provided more successful outcomes in individual cases, they have improved the engagement of Koori communities with the justice system and have helped build capacity within Koori communities.” Prior to the last election, Denis Napthine described such specialist courts as “apartheid of the justice system in Australia”, but following an Ombudsman’s report indicating early success, the Government decided to keep the system in place.