Compulsory income management and Indigenous Australians: delivering social justice or furthering colonial domination?

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    Abstract

    Early colonial attitudes about the desirability of placing limitations on access to money for Indigenous Australians have been resuscitated in recent years. The contemporary compulsory income management laws were originally developed as part of the 2007 Northern Territory Emergency Response (the 'Intervention'). The 2010 modifications to the income management scheme extended income management to a range of categories, many of which detrimentally and disproportionately affect Indigenous peoples, arguably amounting to a form of indirect discrimination. Further legislative changes were introduced to the compulsory income management scheme in 2012 as part of the Stronger Futures legislative package, which are likely to broaden the net further still to cover more Indigenous Australians. There is evidence that compulsory income management has negative consequences for many Indigenous peoples. Law and policy of this type has no place in contemporary Australia, as it is contrary to a robust form of social justice that promotes human freedom, dignity, and autonomy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)522-562
    JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
    Volume35
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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