Judge John Smallwood is currently the Judge in charge of the County Koori Court which sits in the regional area of the Latrobe Valley. Today he discusses the concept of the court, how it has worked to date, the important role of community elders, and the court’s many successes. With an incredibly low rate of re-offending since the court’s inception in 2008, what can be learnt from this style of justice? And should it be expanded?
John Smallwood was appointed as a Judge of the County Court in August 2001. He has presided predominantly in criminal matters and is currently the judge in charge of the County Koori Court, which sits in the regional area of the Latrobe Valley.