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The Koori Court: what is it and how does it operate?

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The Koori Court has been operating for 10 years in Victoria.

It is a more informal court, aiming for greater participation by the Aboriginal community in the court process.

But what is it, and why are Aboriginal offenders treated differently?

To find out more, Neil Mitchell invited Chief Judge Peter Kidd and Judge-in-Charge Paul Grant into the studio.

Click PLAY to hear what victims of crime think of the Koori Court system

Judge Grant said it’s definitely not “judicial Apartheid”.

“It’s part of the criminal division of the County Court,” he said.

“One of the unique components is the role that elders play, in the sentencing process. They play that role there because they play that role within the community.

“It’s all designed to ensure Indigenous offenders are engaged in the process. That improves their prospects of rehabilitation.”

Judge Kidd said the process also has support from victims.

“They observed an offender being made accountable by the elders and talking about their behaviour,” he said.

“It is our experience that victims see this as a positive process.”

Click PLAY to hear the full discussion