Crime, criminality and colonialism are all intricately tied together in the Australian Indigenous context. To understand the nature of crime and criminality as it exists today one must understand the context of the history of colonialism and how it relates to both past and present crime. The underlying theme that inextricably bonds the three together is past and present law. It is the influences of British Law on Indigenous Australians post colonialism that have led to the genocide, oppression, racial discrimination, dispossession of land, high rates of incarceration and intergenerational trauma and disadvantages that have plague the Indigenous people of Australia for far too long. This paper will define crime, criminality and colonialism, explore the history of British law and how this has impacted on Indigenous Australians, the present relationship between criminalisation of Indigenous Australians, police and the justice system, rates of incarceration, and how Indigenous Australians are still disadvantaged when it comes to the law.
A crime is an act committed or omitted, in violation of a public law, either forbidding or commanding it; a breach or violation of some public right or duty due to a whole community, considered as a community (http:// www.thelawdictionary.org/crime). This definition of crime is from the American law dictionary which differs slightly from the Australian definition under the bureau of statistics,- (CRIME) 'An offence punishable by the State on behalf of the general public whose standards do not permit the offending behaviour' (http://www.abs.gov.au) and furthermore the British law definition which states that crime is 'An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law'(http://www.oxforddictionaries.com). All three definitions are similar and all relate to an offence that violates the public and is punishable by law. .
Criminality is defined in an American journal article related to crime and criminality as 'The behavioural definition of crime focuses on, criminality, a certain personality profile that causes the most alarming sorts of crimes.