Canadian Indigenous Over-Representation in Criminal Justice: Judicial and Aboriginal Legal Service
Director of Toronto Aboriginal Legal Service and award-winning author on Indigenous litigation, Mr Jonathan Rudin, with UTS discussant Professor Thalia Anthony discussed Aboriginal initiatives for reducing over-incarceration in Canada and implications for Australia. Jonathan focused on the reforms to the Criminal Code in Canada, cases flowing from those reforms and the introduction of Gladue Reports by the ALS to sentencing courts – which provide a strengths-based, historical and community-based account of the Aboriginal person’s background. Thalia discussed some initiatives of this type by Aboriginal Legal Services in Australia. This talk was part of an Australian Research Council Linkage project with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Five Bridges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Justice Group (Qld) and the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration.
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About the speakers
Mr Jonathan Rudin received his LLB and LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School. In 1990 he was hired to establish Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and has been with ALST ever since. Currently he is the Program Director. Mr. Rudin has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada including representing ALST before the Supreme Court in R v. Ipeelee. Mr. Rudin has written and spoken widely on issues of Aboriginal justice. He co-wrote the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples’ report on Justice – Bridging the Cultural Divide- and was a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Ipperwash Inquiry. Mr. Rudin also teaches on a part-time basis in the Law and Society Program at York University. Last but not least, he plays the mandolin and sings with Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room, a group that plays regularly in Toronto and has a number of videos on YouTube.
Professor Thalia Anthony researches Indigenous people and the law, with specialisation in Indigenous justice mechanisms and systemic racism in criminal law and procedure. Her research is grounded in legal history and understandings of the colonial legacy in legal institutions. Professor Anthony has developed new approaches to researching and understanding the role of the criminal law in governing Indigenous communities. Her research is developed in conjunction with Indigenous organisations in Australia and overseas. She has written influential books Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment (Routledge 2013) and a Decolonising Criminology (Palgrave 2019). She currently leads an Australian Research Council project that introduces Aboriginal justice reports in sentencing in Australia.