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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 27 No 2 (2009) Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth Intervention

Governing Crime in the Intervention

Dr Thalia Anthony (PhD, MCrim (Hons I), LLB (Hons I), BA (Hons I) (USyd)) is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Technology Sydney, where she teaches Criminal Law and Indigenous People and the Law.

This article addresses how the ‘technologies, discourses and metaphors of crime’ that legitimated interventions in the NT (the Intervention) from mid-2006 had an impact on the policing of minor driving offences. Data from local court1 lists in prescribed communities and the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services Annual Reports (2004-2009) reveal that there has been an increase in Indigenous criminalisation since the Intervention. The increase is not in the violent offences anticipated by the architects of the Intervention but in minor driving or traffic offences (hereafter referred to as driving offences), particularly driving unlicensed, uninsured and in an unregistered vehicle. These findings on policing under the Intervention resonate with Jonathan Simon’s model of ‘governing through crime’ and Stanley Cohen’s work on ‘net-widening’.

(2009) 27(2) Law in Context 90

   
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