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Research Guides


Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: The Royal Commission and its Records, 1987–91


Appendix 4: Further reading

The following is a selection of the many publications and reports that appeared during the course of the Royal Commission or after its final report was presented. Many additional works will be identified by searching online bibliographic databases such as APAIS (Australian Public Affairs Information Service) or ABN (the Australian Bibliographic Network). It is suggested that you ask your librarian to undertake these searches for you.

Government publications

The many government publications include submissions to the Commission, research papers, individual State and Territory government responses to the Commission's recommendations, and implementation reports:

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, National Report (Commissioner Elliott Johnston), 5 volumes, AGPS, Canberra, 1991

Royal Commission Government Monitoring Unit, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission 1995, Three Years On: Implementation of Commonwealth Government Response to the Recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: Second Annual Report 1993–94, ATSIC, Canberra

Aboriginal deaths in custody: response by the Tasmanian Government to the Royal Commission, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Hobart, 1992

ATSIC submission to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody on underlying issues and responses to specific questions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, Canberra, 1991

Empowerment of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT. Implementation of recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1993–94. ACT Government Implementation Report, Chief Minister's Department, Canberra, 1995

Final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody South Australian Government response, Aboriginal Affairs Department, Adelaide, 1992

Getting stronger on justice: 1995 monitoring report of Aboriginal Justice Council on Implementation of recommendations of Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, AJC, Aboriginal Affairs Dept, 1996

Implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: 1992/93 ACT Government implementation report, Chief Minister's Department, Canberra, 1994

Justice under scrutiny: report of the inquiry into implementation by Governments of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, AGPS, Canberra, 1994

Response from the Commissioner of Police to the Royal Commission Report into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: Report of the inquiry into the death of David John Gundy, Sydney, NSW Police Service, 1991

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Volume 1, Government of Western Australia implementation report 1995, Aboriginal Affairs Department, Perth, 1995

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: 1993 implementation report, South Australian Government, Aboriginal Affairs Department, 1994

Books and journal articles

Anderson, Christopher, 'Poor Billy Blanket lost among the lawyers. Why the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody failed in its investigations', in Independent Monthly, Sept 1990, pp. 8–9.

Biles, David, 'Custody, crime and the community', in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 7(3), March 1996, pp. 325–339.

Biles, David and McDonald, David (eds), Deaths in custody, Australia, 1980–1989: the research papers of the Criminology Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, 1992.

Brennan, Sean, 'As good as their word, a reply to Melville, Jeans, Adcock and Preston, Melville. Aboriginal deaths in custody: evaluation of the Queensland Police Service's implementation of the recommendations of Australia. Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 6, no. 2, Nov 1994, pp. 264–274.

Cawte, John, 'Fourth World suicide and stress. Summary of submission to Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 154, no. 6, 18 Mar 1991, pp. 419–422.

Corbett, Helen, 'Black deaths in custody: instigating the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', interview by Tony Vinson in Actions Speak: Strategies and Lessons from Australian Social and Community Action (1991), pp. 95–104, 240.

Cordner, Stephen M, 'The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: aspects of medical interest', in Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 155, nos 11–12, 2–16 Dec 1991, pp. 812–814, 816–818.

Cowlishaw, Gillian, 'Inquiring into Aboriginal deaths in custody: the limits of a royal commission', in special issue: 'Politics, Prisons and Punishment: Royal Commissions and Reforms'. Guest editors Kerry Corrington and Barry Morris, in Journal for Social Justice Studies, vol. 4, 1991, pp. 101–115.

Cunneen, Chris, 'Aboriginal and criminal justice issues in the wake of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Law Society Journal, vol. 31, no. 5, June 1993, pp. 52–54.

––, 'Aboriginal imprisonment during and since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1987/1991', in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 3, no. 3, Mar 1992, pp. 351–355.

––, Aboriginal imprisonment during and since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, 1987/1991, in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 3, no. 3, Mar 1992, pp. 351–355.

––, 'The Report of the Inquiry into the Death of David John Gundy, Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 3, no. 1, July 1991, pp. 143–147.

Dalton, Vicki and McDonald, David, Australian deaths in custody and custody-related police operations, 1994–95, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, 1995.

––, Deaths in Custody, Australia, National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, 1992.

Dodson, Michael, 'After the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Republica (Sydney), no. 3, 1995, pp. 109–116.

––, Four studies conducted for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: user's guide for four machine-readable data files, Social Science Data Archives, ANU, Canberra, 1991.

Greeley, Janet and Gladstone, William (eds), The effects of alcohol on cognitive, psychomotor, and affective functioning. Report and recommendations prepared by an expert working group for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Monograph no. 8, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1989.

––, 'Grog and deaths in custody: What the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody found', in Yarranma, vol. 4, no. 3, Sept 1991, pp. 6–8.

Halstead, Boronia, 'Implementing coroners' deaths in custody recommendations: a Victorian case study', in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 7(3), March 1996, pp. 340–55.

Harding, Richard, Aboriginal contact with the criminal justice system and the impact of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Hawkins Press, Leichhardt, NSW, 1995.

Hillyard, Paddy and Ward, Margaret, 'Australian Aboriginals win historic admission. Recommendation of the Australian Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Paul Prior case', in Shades of Black, vol. 1, no. 2, Spring 1991, pp. 7–8.

Hunt, Barry, 'Reconciliation with Aboriginal people. Examines the Report of the Australian Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the reconciliation process which is now gaining momentum', in Reform (Australian Law Reform Commission), no. 62, Winter 1991, pp. 94–96.

Langton, Marcia, 'Too much sorry business. Summary of the full submission on substance abuse in Chapter Five, Appendix D of the Australian Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. National Report (1991)', in Aboriginal & Islander Health Worker Journal, vol. 16, no. 2, Mar/Apr 1992, pp. 10–13, 16–23.

Lavery, Daniel, 'Empty words, Queensland's response to Recommendations 6 to 40 of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Aboriginal Law Bulletin, vol. 3, no. 68, June 1994, pp. 11–12.

McDonald, David and Whimp, Kathy, 'Australia's Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: law and justice issues' (bibl., table), in Legal Pluralism and the Colonial Legacy: Indigenous Experiences of Justice in Canada, Australia and New Zealand (1995), pp. 187–215.

McDonald, David, Australian deaths in custody: the impact of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency, Canberra, 1994.

McGrath, Ann, 'Working for the Royal Commission: the History Project of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Public History Review, vol.3, 1994, pp. 18–35.

McNamara, Luke, 'Autonomy based solutions and criminal justice reform. A comparison of the recommendations of the Australia. Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba', in Aboriginal Law Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 54, Feb 1992, pp. 4–7.

Melville, David, and others, 'Aboriginal deaths in custody: evaluation of the Queensland Police Service's implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 6(2), Nov 1994, pp. 252–263.

Milliken, Robert, 'Forty million dollars later, what's changed? Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Australian Society, vol. 10, no. 11, Nov 1991, pp. 7–9.

Muirhead, J H, 'A new orientation in approach by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (Muirhead Commission)' in Australian Society, vol. 7, no. 8, Aug 1988, pp. 21–52.

Purdy, Jeannine, 'Royal commissions and omissions. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the death of John Pat', in Alternative Law Journal, vol. 17, no. 1, Feb 1992, pp. 32–33.

Rowse, Tim, 'The Royal Commission, ATSIC and self determination: a review of the Australian Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 27, no. 3, Aug 1992, pp. 153–172.

––, 'Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody' in Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker, vol. 14, no. 1, Mar 1990, pp. 14–18.

Sackett, Lee, 'A postmodern panopticon: the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody', in Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 28, no. 3, Aug 1993, pp. 229–244.

Seaman, Sir Keith, 'Implementing Recommendation 96 of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Report of Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshops for Western Australian judicial officers, 1993' in Aboriginal Law Bulletin, vol. 3, no. 66, Feb 1994, p. 7.

Whimp, Kathy and McDonald, David, 'The National Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: findings relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health', in Aboriginal Health Information Bulletin, no. 16, Nov 1991, pp. 14–19.

Wilson, Paul and Scandia, Anita, 'Questions for the royal commission. Aboriginal deaths in custody', in Australian Society, vol. 6, no. 8/9, Sept 1987, pp. 31–33.

Electronic publications

Aboriginal Reconciliation Branch, Office of Indigenous Affairs, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Justice and Equity, a 25,000-page electronic library on CD ROM, available free at libraries, universities and legal and community centres.

Internet sites

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission - Commission was abolished in 2004

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation


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