Establishing the Walama Court must not be ignored in the NSW Budget

13/11/2020

This NAIDOC Week the New South Wales Bar Association has called again on the NSW Government to prioritise funding the Walama Court in the District Court in the upcoming Budget. In a media statement today, President Michael McHugh SC said that “Recognising and addressing the overrepresentation of First Nations people in our criminal justice system and sentencing processes is integral to the administration of justice in this State”.

“The Association, with many others, has consistently advocated for the Walama Court to be established to reduce recidivism rates through increased cooperation between the criminal justice system and respected persons in First Nations communities, more vigorous supervision orders and diversionary programs. This can only have a positive effect on the justice system,” Mr McHugh SC said.

The proposal has the support of the Police Association of NSW, the Law Council and was a key recommendation for NSW in the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2018 Pathways to Justice – Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples report. In January 2020, the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug “Ice” also recommended that the Walama Court be adequately funded and implemented by government. Click here to read the President's media release.


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