Neo-colonisation of Indigenous Communities by State and Justice System through Criminalisation

  • Aishani Pachauri
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  • Aishani Pachauri

    Student at Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, India

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The civilising mission carried by the Europeans in the colonies was an extremely brutal process based on the notions of superiority and religion. The importance placed in universalism and conformity, which was claimed to elevate the lives of the colonised people seen as underdeveloped, ironically lead to loss of life, property, culture and identity. Colonialism was not merely established through warfare, but by also psychologically attacking the very core of these societies. This violence, weather physical, mental or emotional, was actively backed by law, as the legislative body was made up of the colonisers controlling the State. The independence struggles of these lands fought in order to declare themselves a sovereign was fuelled by the promise of putting an end to this violence. However, in States such as USA, Canada, Australia, etc., even post decolonisation, the indigenous communities continued to be systematically marginalised by the independent state and the earlier notions of ‘civilising the savages’ continued to exist. Moreover, the state continued to use legislations in order to further their interests and justify their actions. Hence, criminalisation and punishment emerged as one of the primary tools used by the State to discriminate against the natives, continue violence upon land and people, and impose their ideas of life on them. This paper aims to critically analyse the evolution and current state of the criminal justice system and the irrefutable influence colonial past has over it through the example of USA. More specifically, the paper draws a parallel between the pattern of civilizing indigenous communities in the colonial and decolonised world through legislations, where they are viewed with a bias, while reflecting on the justifications provided for the same.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 4, Page 1644 - 1651


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