South Australian Current Acts

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9C—Sentencing of Aboriginal defendants

        (1)         Before sentencing an Aboriginal defendant, the court may, with the defendant's consent, and with the assistance of an Aboriginal Justice Officer

            (a)         convene a sentencing conference; and

            (b)         take into consideration views expressed at the conference.

        (2)         A sentencing conference must comprise—

            (a)         the defendant and, if the defendant is a child, the defendant's parent or guardian; and

            (b)         the defendant's legal representative (if any); and

            (c)         the prosecutor; and

            (d)         if the victim chooses to be present at the conference—the victim, and, if the victim so desires, a person of the victim's choice to provide assistance and support; and

            (e)         if the victim is a child—the victim's parent or guardian.

        (3)         A sentencing conference may also include (if the court thinks the person may contribute usefully to the sentencing process) one or more of the following:

            (a)         a person regarded by the defendant, and accepted within the defendant's Aboriginal community, as an Aboriginal elder;

            (b)         a person accepted by the defendant's Aboriginal community as a person qualified to provide cultural advice relevant to sentencing of the defendant;

            (c)         a member of the defendant's family;

            (d)         a person who has provided support or counselling to the defendant;

            (e)         any other person.

        (4)         A person will be taken to be an Aboriginal person for the purposes of this section if—

            (a)         the person is descended from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; and

            (b)         the person regards himself or herself as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or, if the person is a young child, at least one of the parents regards the child as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; and

            (c)         the person is accepted as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community.

        (5)         In this section—

"Aboriginal Justice Officer" means a person employed by the South Australian Courts Administration Authority whose duties include—

            (a)         assisting the court in sentencing of Aboriginal persons by providing advice on Aboriginal society and culture; and

            (b)         assisting the court to convene sentencing conferences under this section; and

            (c)         assisting Aboriginal persons to understand court procedures and sentencing options and to comply with court orders;

"close personal relationship" means the relationship between 2 adult persons (whether or not related by family and irrespective of their gender) who live together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, but does not include—

            (a)         the relationship between a legally married couple; or

            (b)         a relationship where 1 of the persons provides the other with domestic support or personal care (or both) for fee or reward, or on behalf of some other person or an organisation of whatever kind;


Two persons may live together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis whether or not a sexual relationship exists, or has ever existed, between them.

"domestic partner"—a person is the domestic partner of another if he or she lives with the other in a close personal relationship;

"family" includes—

            (a)         the defendant's spouse or domestic partner; and

            (b)         any person to whom the defendant is related by blood; and

            (c)         any person who is, or has been, a member of the defendant's household; and

            (d)         any person held to be related to the defendant according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules and observances;

"spouse"—a person is the spouse of another if they are legally married.

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