Public Hearings: 12 to 16 December 2022

The purpose of these public hearings was to hear from Aboriginal leaders working in the area of criminal justice as part of Yoorrook’s inquiry into the harm done to First Peoples by unjust laws and practices within this system.

Witnesses gave evidence about issues including:

  • Police and prisons being used to deal with First Peoples experiencing mental health and homelessness issues
  • First Peoples being incarcerated for crimes of poverty
  • The connection between domestic violence and the incarceration of Aboriginal women
  • The disproportionate use of tasers on and strip searches of First Peoples, including children, by police
  • The need to raise the age of criminal responsibility
  • The impact of failing to implement changes to Victoria’s public drunkenness laws
  • The need for independent police oversight and better training of police to improve interactions with First Peoples
  • The need to reform the Bail Act to reduce deaths in custody
  • The benefits of expanding the Koori Court and the need to develop a specialist state-wide Children’s Court
  • The lack of readily available and culturally appropriate healthcare in prisons
  • A need for better training and cultural knowledge for all legal professionals
  • That self-determination should represent actual decision-making power rather than consultation or codesign with First Peoples

Scroll down to view videos of the hearings, witness statements and evidence.


Hearing Videos

Featured image for “Criminal justice system hearing – Day 9”

December 16, 2022

1H 25M

Criminal justice system hearing – Day 9

Dr Mick Creati
Prof Stuart Kinner
Featured image for “Criminal justice system hearing – Day 8”

December 15, 2022

5H 20M

Criminal justice system hearing – Day 8

Aunty Vickie Roach
Dr Eddie Cubillo
Human Rights Law Centre
Stan Winford
Victoria Legal Aid
Featured image for “Criminal justice system hearing – Day 7”

December 14, 2022

5H 34M

Criminal justice system hearing – Day 7

Alan Thorpe
Coree Thorpe
Karin Williams
Nakia Firebrace
Peter Hood
Shaun Braybrook
Tessa Theocharous
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
Featured image for “Criminal justice system hearing – Day 6”

December 13, 2022

3H 15M

Criminal justice system hearing – Day 6

Antoinette Braybrook
Aunty Geraldine Atkinson