Law Society Northern Territory (Society) welcomes the Attorney-General's announcement this afternoon that the Solicitor-General, Michael Grant QC, will be the next Chief Justice of the Northern Territory.
Society President Mr Tass Liveris said, "Mr Grant is an exemplary appointment to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory and to the extremely important position of Chief Justice. Mr Grant was the first Territory-born practitioner to be appointed as Queen's Counsel and he is widely known and respected throughout the community as an advocate of the highest order. His wealth of experience across many roles will be an outstanding asset to the Court.".
Click here for the full release.
On 31 March the Chief Magistrate announced the closure of the Mutitjulu Court.
“The problem with remote court facilities has been known for some time. The Society would be the first to congratulate the Attorney General (AG) on his real achievements with Courts infrastructure. We continue to ask the Attorney General to address the problems rather than close the Court. The Society is left to wonder if the new Youth Court in Darwin and Supreme Court in Alice Springs have been at the expense of bush courts”.
“I have had many discussions with the Attorney General about possible solutions to the challenging issues in bush courts and he seemed to be passionately committed to genuine solutions. It is disappointing that this latest announcement was not made in the context of the Attorney General’s clear plan for Courts for all Territorians”. Said Mr Tass Liveris, President of the Northern Territory Law Society.
Mr Liveris said “it is pleasing to see the AG supporting the work of the Courts and acknowledge that facilities are such that something needs to be done. We do not believe closing a court is something that should be taken lightly or done at short notice. Closing a Court simply because facilities are inadequate is not the way to address service delivery in the bush.
To read the full media release click here.
MEDIA RELEASE: Public Forum to raise awareness about the criminal justice system and Youth offenders
The Chief Magistrate Dr John Lowndes CSM, together with Law Society Northern Territory (Society) are hosting a public forum tomorrow, Thursday 24 March to raise awareness about, and promote a better understanding of the criminal justice process in relation to youth offenders.
Society’s President Tass Liveris, who will MC the event, said “the incarceration rates of youth offenders in the Northern Territory are the highest in Australia. The aim of the Forum is to assist the community understand the court processes that children go through.”
Panellists from the Department of Public Prosecutions, North Australia Aboriginal Justice Agency, NT Legal Aid and Northern Territory Magistrates will speak at tomorrow’s event. Tass said “The public will have an opportunity to ask panel members questions at the end of the event”.
The forum is open to all members of the public starting at 5.00pm at the TCG Building, 80 Mitchell Street Darwin and will conclude at approximately 7.00pm.
END OF RELEASE
Have Australian legal professional regulators missed the diversity boat or are law societies sailing away with the glory?
In March 2014 the Law Council of Australia (LCA) released a report: National attrition and re-engagement study (NARS).1 That report identified many of the challenges faced by women in the legal sector in Australia, particularly triggers that prompt women to leave the sector and barriers to returning. NARS made recommendations about avenues for change which focused on professional bodies and law firms, or chambers. In light of NARS, the discussion of the diversity challenge facing the Australian legal profession has centred on what professional organisations or firms and chambers are doing to address diversity. Little has been said about what is being done by legal profession regulators and the essential role these regulators must play.
The 2014 law Society national profile revealed that of the 66 211 practising solicitors in Australia the split between male and female was 51.5% male to 48.5% female. The report also shows a trend of increasing female representation and acknowledges that female solicitors comprised 60% of solicitors admitted in the prior year and 59.1% of all solicitors admitted in the past ten years.2
The Law Society will launch a new book by the Chief Justice of the Northern Territory, Hon. Trevor Riley at the Opening of the Legal Year lunch to be held at the Darwin Convention Centre on Thursday.
The Little Red Book of Advocacy (second edition) is an easy to read and well written book comprising a collection of the Chief Justice’s monthly columns on advocacy which have regularly featured in the Law Society NT’s flagship journal Balance since 1999.
Society President Mr Tass Liveris said, “His Honour’s advocacy columns have long been a “must read” for the local legal fraternity and since it was released in 2003, the Little Red Book of Advocacy (first edition) has been essential in every legal practitioner’s book collection. The book was also recently used by the Australian Bar Association’s Advocacy Training Council in its prestigious Advanced Trial Advocacy Course.”
To view the entire media release click here.