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Not Racist, But ...: Racism and the Criminal Justice System

Listen to Not Racist, But ...: Racism and the Criminal Justice System

Photograph of Santilla Chingaipe, Roxanne Moore, Tamar Hopkins and Fiona McLeod

Santilla Chingaipe, Roxanne Moore, Tamar Hopkins and Fiona McLeod at the Wheeler Centre

In this edition of our Not Racist, But series, we discuss racial bias in the criminal justice system – from policing and legal aid to jury selection and sentencing.

Indigenous Australians account for just 2% of our country’s overall population and more than a quarter of our adult prison population. How, specifically, is this a function of explicit and structural racism across various facets of our enforcement and justice systems? And how are all non-white Australians – especially those from refugee backgrounds – disadvantaged when interacting with police and with the courts?

In this discussion, host Santilla Chingaipe and the panel explore how racial discrimination and bias play out on a daily and inter-generational basis in Australia. They look at racial data collection, too, and how sensationalist media reporting can skew perception, politics and policy.

With lawyer and Accountability Round Table Chair Fiona McLeod; Noongar woman, lawyer and NATSILS Executive Officer Roxanne Moore; and FKCLC Police Accountability Project founding lawyer Tamar Hopkins.


Portrait of Santilla Chingaipe

Santilla Chingaipe

Santilla Chingaipe is a journalist and filmmaker whose work explores migration, cultural identities and politics. She is a regular contributor to the Saturday Paper, and serves as a member of the Federal Government’s Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations (AGAAR). 

Chingaipe wrote and directed the documentary series Third Culture Kids for the ABC. Other credits include the short documentary Black As Me.

Her first book of non-fiction detailing the stories of convicts of African descent transported to the Australian penal colonies, is forthcoming with Picador in 2021.

The recipient of several awards, Chingaipe was recognised at the United Nations as one of the most influential people of African descent in the world in 2019. 

Portrait of Roxanne Moore

Roxanne Moore

Roxanne Moore is a Noongar woman and human rights lawyer from Margaret River in Western Australia. She is the Executive Officer for the National Peak Body on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS ).

Portrait of Fiona McLeod

Fiona McLeod

Fiona McLeod SC is senior counsel practising at the Victorian Bar in public and commercial law.

She is the Chair of the Accountability Round Table and formerly chair of Transparency International and the Open Government Forum.

Portrait of Tamar Hopkins

Tamar Hopkins

Tamar Hopkins is the founding lawyer of FKCLC's Police Accountability Project and has been litigating, researching and writing in area of racial profiling and police accountability since 2006. 

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