Statement on Discrimination in Law

Statement on discrimination against Indigenous peoples in the legal system

Members of the UWA Law School condemn past and ongoing discrimination in the Australian legal system that continues to create profound injustice in the lives of First Nations peoples. We acknowledge the Indigenous people who have died in incarceration in Western Australia and elsewhere and the families, communities, and Countries of those who have passed. And we acknowledge the generations of Indigenous peoples who have struggled long and hard for equality and raised up their voices for justice. There has not been a failure to speak. There has been a failure to listen.

We recognise that our Law School is part of a legal system that has not heard Indigenous voices and has not implemented the Indigenous-led, strengths-based solutions that First Nations peoples have advocated for many decades. We recognise too that our Law School is part of an education system that has excluded First Nations peoples and failed to challenge bias at systemic and individual levels. 

The UWA Law School is committed to continuing to work in partnership with Indigenous peoples to create culturally safe teaching and research spaces and produce culturally competent graduates. While we possess considerable expertise in Anglo-Australian law, we lack the insights that can only be gained from lived experience. So, to Indigenous peoples, we echo the statement used in the struggles for racial justice elsewhere: We understand that we will never understand. But we stand with you.