Circle sentencing in NSW

Education video, 2009, 75 minutes, also available as a DVD

To obtain a DVD of one of the Commission’s videos, please order from shop.nsw. Click here to access the video from the Judicial Commission YouTube Channel.

Circle Sentencing Circle sentencing in NSW is primarily designed as an educational tool for judicial officers but will also be of great benefit to other participants in circle sentencing, including police prosecutors, defence lawyers, project officers and Aboriginal elders. It explains in a very straightforward way how circle sentencing works, how to go about it and its benefits.

Circle sentencing is an alternative sentencing program which involves members of Aboriginal communities in the sentencing of Aboriginal offenders. The video provides insight into circle sentencing from the perspective of key players in the process, in particular, Aboriginal offenders discuss their first hand experience of circle sentencing and its positive effects.

The video was produced by the Judicial Commission and its production was greatly assisted by the expertise provided by the members of our Ngara Yura Committee.



  1. Introduction by His Honour Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson and Aunty Ethel Little, Nowra
  2. Circle sentencing: What it is and how it works
    • ABC footage from Four Corners program “Inside the Circle”
    • Commentary from His Honour Magistrate Doug Dick
  3. Why circle sentencing works
    • The judicial officer’s perspective
    • The offender’s perspective
    • The victim’s perspective
    • The legal representative’s perspective
    • The prosecutor’s perspective
    • The indigenous community’s perspective
  4. Tips and tricks in setting up
    • The judicial officer’s perspective
    • The project officer’s perspective
    • The prosecutor’s perspective
    • The indigenous elder’s perspective
  5. Practical advice and “nuts and bolts”