chapter  8
Conclusion: transforming Indigenous recognition
Pages 18

The sentencer’s recognition of Indigeneity is a problematic premise for legal plurality in the Australian criminal justice system. At best, the sentencer’s use of discretion can instrumentally structure sentences to soften the devastating effect of incarceration on Indigenous Australians. Epistemologically, it creates knowledges of Indigenous cultures, laws and experiences through channelling Indigenous viewpoints. At worst, recognition in sentencing can produce harsher penalties to deter the practice of Indigenous cultures and customary laws. It can never foster Indigenous laws because the source of recognition presides in dominant Anglo-Australian institutions that exist due to the subordination of Indigenous societies.