The Deep Colonizing Practices of the Australian Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
This paper demonstrates how legal processes utilised by institutions established to reverse the effects of colonisation, can continue the colonising agenda. The processes reflect 'deep', rather than 'de-', colonising practices. The Australian Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC), which tabled its National Report over a decade ago and which was heralded as the inquiry which would transform race politics for Indigenous Australians, is used as an example of a 'decolonising' institution that inadvertently adopted deep colonising practices. Using data from interviews with 48 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who were associated with the RCIADIC, this paper expands Deborah Bird Rose's theoretical construct of 'deep colonising practices' and illustrates how difficult it is to shift hegemonic legal processes and beliefs despite intentions to empower and embrace Indigenous views.
Journal of Law and Society