Keeping Hold of Justice

Encounters between Law and Colonialism
Jennifer Balint, Julie Evans, Nesam McMillan, and Mark McMillan


Four of the Chief Investigators from the Minutes of Evidence project—which combines research, education, performance, and public engagement to spark new ways of understanding structural inequalities in settler societies like Australia—closely consider the law’s complex relation to the structural injustices of colonialism. This interdisciplinary book brings together the insights and approaches of history, criminology, socio-legal studies, and law to present a range of case studies of the encounter between law and colonialism. Through historical and contemporary case studies, it emphasizes the nature of colonialism as a structural injustice that becomes entrenched in the social, political, legal, and discursive structures of societies and continues to affect people’s lives in the present. It charts the role of law in both enabling and sustaining colonial injustice and in recognizing and redressing it.

Despite the enduring legacies and harms of colonialism, Keeping Hold of Justice contends that possibilities for structural justice can be found thorough collaborative methodologies and practices that actively bring together different disciplines, peoples, temporalities, laws, and ways of knowing into dynamic relation. They reveal law not only as a source of colonial harm but also as a potential means of keeping hold of justice.

Jennifer Balint is Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies in Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences, at the University of Melbourne.

Julie Evans is Principal Fellow of Melbourne Law School and Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences, at the University of Melbourne.

Mark McMillan is Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Education and Engagement at RMIT University.

Nesam McMillan is Senior Lecturer in Global Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Product Details

  • 224 pages.
  • 3 b&w photos.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2020
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-12627-9

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  • $70.00 U.S.



  • Law; colonialism; Justice; Structural injustice; structural justice; Collaborative methodology; Settler colonialism; Minutes of Evidence; Law and history; art; postcolonialism; legal archives; Indigenous law; International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda;