Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Aboriginal people in Western Australia are among the most imprisoned people in the world. This unit analyses the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system in Australia, and particularly in Western Australia. It involves an examination of Aboriginal contact with all facets of the justice system including issues of policing, court processes and approaches to corrections. The unit considers the position of both juveniles and adults and includes a consideration of traditional forms of conflict resolution in Aboriginal communities. Where relevant, the unit also draws on experiences in other jurisdictions, notably Canada and New Zealand. The unit examines the full array of contemporary issues, including family violence and its context and causes; Aboriginal customary law and its relevance; the role of 'hybrid' mechanisms such as Aboriginal courts and circle sentencing courts; the role of Aboriginal community justice mechanisms; and the future role of self-determination and self-governance strategies.

6 points

Students are able to (1) be aware of the complex web of issues underlying Aboriginal over-representation in the justice system; (2) evaluate existing research on this and related issues; (3) understand the kinds of mechanisms required to resolve Aboriginal justice related issues; (4) have a deeper understanding of Aboriginal mechanisms of conflict resolution including customary law; and (5) critique existing government strategies and identify alternatives.


This comprises a take-home test and a 5000-word essay.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Contact hours
offered intensively
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.