Aboriginal Justice and the Charter
332 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2013
Release Date:22 Nov 2012
Release Date:22 Nov 2012

Aboriginal Justice and the Charter

Realizing a Culturally Sensitive Interpretation of Legal Rights

SERIES: Law and Society
UBC Press

How can Aboriginal justice be practically implemented in ways that go beyond sentencing initiatives and parallels to restorative justice? Aboriginal Justice and the Charter explores the tension between Aboriginal justice methods and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, seeking practical ways to implement Aboriginal justice. David Milward examines nine legal rights guaranteed by the Charter and undertakes a thorough search for interpretations sensitive to Aboriginal culture.

In this book, David Milward strikes out into new territory well beyond that charted by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in the mid-1990s. He examines why Indigenous communities seek to explore different paths in this area and identifies some of the applicable constitutional constraints. This book considers a number of specific areas of the criminal justice process in which Indigenous communities may wish to adopt different approaches, tests these approaches against constitutional imperatives, and offers practical proposals for reconciling the various matters at stake. Milward grapples with the difficult questions of how Aboriginal justice systems can be fair to victims, offenders, and the community, while at the same time complying with the protections guaranteed all Canadians by the Charter of Rights.

Aboriginal Justice and the Charter is essential reading for government policy-makers, Indigenous policy-makers, and academics working in related fields, as well as those interested in Indigenous criminal justice issues.


  • 2013, Shortlisted - Canadian Law & Society Association Book Prize
  • 2013, Joint winner - K.D. Srivastava Prize for Excellence in Scholarly Publishing
In this timely and unique book, David Milward furthers the presence of Indigenous voices in discussions of criminal justice issues while courageously demonstrating the complexity and pluralism of those voices. This is a book that should be widely read by scholars, policy makers, and others interested in Indigenous communities and criminal justice. Dwight Newman, Professor of Law, University of Saskatchewan, and author of Community and Collective Rights: A Theoretical Framework for Rights Held by Groups
David Milward … has undertaken a remarkably difficult task in Aboriginal Justice and the Charter. In these pages, he considers the broad range of issues necessary to make a case for the creation of free-standing Aboriginal justice programs, conceived and administered by Aboriginal communities themselves … Milward’s work is timely and is a welcome change from the timidity regarding Aboriginal justice reform that has characterized Canada for far too long. Bruce Granville Miller, from the Foreword
David Milward is an assistant professor of law at the University of Manitoba.

Foreword / Bruce Granville Miller


1 Introduction

2 Aboriginal Aspirations for Justice

3 The Current Situation in Canada

4 Addressing the Tension

5 Realizing the Culturally Sensitive Interpretation of Legal Rights

6 The Sentencing Process

7 The Trial Phase

8 The Investigative Stage

9 The Final Resolution

10 Conclusion




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