“Disposable Outsiders”: Recreating Systems of Structural Oppression in the Australian Criminal Justice System

Ms Jayne O’Connor1

1Unsw Law & Justice, Sydney, Australia

How does the Australian criminal justice system continue to fail Indigenous women in spite of its willingness to consider alternative ways of incorporating Indigenous identity and culture? This article exposes the procedural and conceptual infrastructures comprising the CJS, which recreates existing systems of oppression from across Australian society. The article excavates, layer by layer, the issues Indigenous Australian women face as victims of sexual violence. The article identifies these failures through a feminist, decolonial lens. The article details view of the victim’s experience in the criminal justice system, exploring the struggles victims face in a system not designed to accommodate them. Building on these foundations, the article dissects the compounded forms of oppression and discrimination Indigenous women experience as victims of sexual violence.


Jayne is a PhD Candidate in Law at the UNSW Faculty of Law & Justice. Her thesis examines historical and current failures of the Australian criminal justice system in the area of sexual violence against Indigenous women, and considers these failures in the context of social media activism, namely the #MeToo movement. Jayne earned her JD from the University at Buffalo School of Law and her BA in Anthropology from SUNY Buffalo in New York. She is licensed as an attorney in New York State.


Dec 08 2021