All AJA4 actions are expected to adhere to the following principles developed by the Aboriginal Justice Caucus through their work on self-determination in the justice system:
- Prioritise self-determination: Always strive to transfer power, decision-making and resources to the Aboriginal community.
- Support cultural strengthening: Enhance positive connections to family, community and kin to build resilience to setbacks and develop strategies for dealing with hardships.
- Be strengths-based: Respect and honour the strengths and resilience of Aboriginal people, families and communities and build upon these.
- Be trauma-informed: Employ healing approaches that seek to understand and respond to trauma and its impact on individuals, families and communities.
- Be restorative: Aim for the restoration of victims, offenders and communities and repair the harm resulting from the crime, including harm to relationships.
- Use therapeutic approaches: Recognise that at all stages of involvement with the justice system there is potential to make a positive impact on a person’s life.
- Respond to context: Recognise and adapt to meet the specific needs and circumstances of people, families, and communities.
- Be holistic: Address the interrelated risk factors for offending in a holistic manner, such as substance abuse, housing, and unemployment.
- Protect cultural rights: Respect the distinct and unique rights of Aboriginal people.
- Address unconscious bias: Identify and respond to systemic racism and discrimination that persists in the justice system.