A young Yorta Yorta man sought to have his criminal matters adjourned to the nearest Koori Court for sentencing. The sitting Magistrate refused this request, indicating he would receive a culturally appropriate service in mainstream Magistrates’ Court. The criminal team contacted VALS civil about this. Ultimately, VALS’ civil team ran successful judicial review proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court, setting aside the Magistrates’ decision, which allowed the young man’s matters to be transferred to the Koori Court. This decision has improved access to the Koori Court for all Aboriginal Victorians. The use of Victoria’s Charter of human rights in this case also led to the first detailed judicial consideration of Aboriginal cultural rights under the Charter.

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