The Koori Court has been created under the Magistrates Court Act 1989. It operates as a division of the Magistrates' Court, which sentences Indigenous defendants.
The Children's Koori Court was established under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005. The Koori Court provides an informal atmosphere and allows greater participation by the Aboriginal (Koori) community in the court process.
Koori Elders or Respected Persons, the Koori Court Officer, Koori defendants and their families can contribute during the Court hearing. This helps to reduce perceptions of cultural alienation and to ensure sentencing orders are appropriate to the cultural needs of Koori offenders, and assist them to address issues relating to their offending behaviour.
The Koori Court is currently located at Bairnsdale, Broadmeadows, Latrobe Valley, Mildura, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Warrnambool Magistrates' Courts. Children’s Koori Courts are also located in Melbourne and Mildura.
The Koori Court Aims to:
- Increase Koori ownership of the administration of the law;
- Increase positive participation by Koori offenders;
- Increase the accountability of the Koori offenders, families, and community;
- Encourage defendants to appear in Court;
- Reduce the amount of breached court orders;
- Deter offenders from re-offending;
- Increase community awareness about community codes of conduct and standards of behaviour; and
- Explore sentencing alternatives prior to imprisonment.
The Koori Court Model:
- The court is more informal.
- The Magistrate sits at a large table with all other participants in the case, not at the bench;
- The defendant will sit with his or her family at the table, not in the dock; and
- Participants will talk in 'plain' English rather than using technical legal language.
Contact Koori Court Unit
The Koori Court Unit of the Magistrates' Court of Victoria oversees the management and administration of the Koori Courts.
223 William Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
(GPO Box 882, Melbourne VIC 3001)
Tel: (03) 9032 0946
Koori Court Officers
A Koori Court Officer is based at each location that has a Koori Court.
Broadmeadows Koori Court
(03) 9221 8900
Melbourne Children's Koori Court
(03) 8638 3300
Mildura Koori Court (Adults and Children)
(03) 5021 6000
Shepparton Koori Court
(03) 5821 4633
Swan Hill Koori Court
(03) 5032 0800
Warrnambool Koori Court
(03) 5564 1111