The Disavowal of Context: Sentencing Lex Wotton

University of New South Wales
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Indigenous Law Bulletin, 2009, 7 (10), pp. 27 - 30
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Almost thirty years ago in the case of R'v Neal (1982),1 members ofthe HighCourt recognised that an Indigenous defendant's assault (swearing and spitting) on a reserve officer inYarrabah, Queensland, needed to be understood in its paternalistic aQd racist context. Two ofthe four High Courtjudges acknowledged. that racist tensio.os onreserves that provoke 'violent' crimes against non-Indigenous officers can be factors that reduce the offender's criminal sentence; because they reduce the culpability of the Indigenous offender.
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