The Kimberley Aboriginal Justice Clinic is part of a collaboration between Kimberley Community Legal Services (‘KCLS’) in Western Australia and the ANU College of Law which aims to increase positive justice impacts by, for and with Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal people in the Kimberley are striving for social, economic, legal and political advancement and over 90% of the Kimberley is determined Native Title land. However, barriers to justice include extreme disadvantage, gross under-resourcing of non-profit legal services in the region and enormous lacks relating to law and justice across the cultural interface.
In this course student learning is driven by involvement in law in action justice work. The course is structured around students undertaking paralegal work at the KCLS Aboriginal Justice Clinic at the Law School. The clinic is incorporated real-time in the KCLS legal practice and students are supervised by KCLS lawyers. This is an immersive and challenging context for guided exploration about how law has been instrumentalized in relation to First Nations peoples, and the impacts. Also, whether and how laws, legal institutions and legal practice can become forces for empowerment.
The course includes consideration of substantive areas of law, public policy, and critical Indigenous legal theories and presents principles and concepts which are pressed by First Nations peoples in pursuit of justice, rights and empowerment. The course emphasises the voices, lived experiences and authority of Aboriginal people of the Kimberley and engages and supports students in exploring how theory works in step with practice and reflection.
Accordingly, students will complete a workshop program which incorporates familiarization with KCLS and the Hotdesk, key skills, self-care, cultural protocols, and the concepts of reflection, reflexivity, settler-colonialism, epistemic injustice and approaches to empowerment. Students also complete a minimum of 10 x 1 day (7 hour) paralegal sessions at the KCLS-ANU Hotdesk and assessments consisting of reflective case studies which critically explore readings and themes in the course, and a research paper related to themes in the course.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Critically analyse and reflect on concepts including, but not limited to, personal and societal legacies of colonialization, cultural security, and voice, and evaluate how self-determination can empower both Indigenous and non-indigenous people to improve social justice outcomes.
- Outline how the idea of epistemic injustice is being used to critique settler-colonial law in Australia and consider how this may be applied to critique legal education, legal practice and justice.
- Examine and discuss legal problems within substantive areas of law impacting on Aboriginal people in the Kimberley using doctrinal and social policy approaches and approaches applying critical Indigenous legal theories.
- Identify and critically analyse a range of legal practice approaches and collaborative actions, having regard to an ethos of service and the wishes, interests and rights of Aboriginal people in the Kimberley.
- Design, plan, collaborate on and complete a research-based project relating to an aspect of law, justice or legal education as it impacts on Aboriginal people in the Kimberley.
Enrollment is limited with selection based on a competitive process. Application information can be located on the ANU College of Law Website.
- Hotdesk Clinic paralegal work of 10 x 7-hr days (mandatory) worked at a minimum pace of 1 day / week for semester long courses and 2 days / week for winter and summer session courses. Total, about 70 hrs. (NCN) (0) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Workshop attendance and participation (mandatory). Orientation and topic focused. About 8 -12 hours in total e.g. for semester long courses 4 x 2 hr workshops and for winter and summer session courses 2 x 4 hr workshops. (NCN) (0) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Reflective case study 15% (600 words). Due end of week 3 for semester long courses and end of week 2 for winter and summer session courses. (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Reflective case study 15% (600 words). Due end of week 6 for semester long courses and end of week 4 for winter and summer session courses. (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Reflective case study 15% (600 words). Due end of week 10 for semester long courses and end of week 6 for winter and summer session courses. (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Research Project (2,200 words max). Due on date to be advised not earlier than 2 weeks after completion of the Hotdesk Clinic paralegal work component. (55) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
- Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 36 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
- Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have three contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Click here for the LLB Program course list
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the ANU Law School to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when known.
Allan Ardill, 'Non-Indigenous Lawyers Writing About Indigenous People: Colonisation in practice' (2012) 37(2) Alternative Law Journal 107.
Maggie Brady, ‘Law reforming lawyers and aboriginal social controls: The case of the Western Australian Aboriginal Communities Act’ (2013) 17(1) Australian Indigenous Law Review 38.
Marcelle Burns, 'Towards growing Indigenous culturally competent legal professionals in Australia' (2013) 12(1) The International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives 226
Mick Dodson, ‘From 'Lore' to 'Law': Indigenous Rights and Australian Legal Systems’, (1995) 20 (1), Alternative Law Journal, 2
Kim Mahood, 'Kartiya are like Toyotas: White workers on Australia’s cultural frontier ' (2012) 36 Griffith Review 43.
Martin Nakata, 'The Cultural Interface' (2007) 36 Australian Journal of Indigenous Education 7
Nicole Watson, 'Indigenous People in Legal Education: Staring into a Mirror without Reflection' (2005) 6(8) Indigenous Law Bulletin 4
Irene Watson, 'Buried alive' (2002) 13(3) Law & Critique 253
Mandy Yap and Eunice Yu, ‘Community Wellbeing from the Ground Up: A Yawuru Example’ (2016), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Report 3/16
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.