Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) is proud to announce the recent appointment of Kellie Grainger to the office of the Chief Executive Officer.
Ms Grainger’s appointment follows a Territory-wide recruitment process in the latter part of 2016. Ms Grainger was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1996 and worked in private practice in Hervey Bay, before moving to the Northern Territory in 2012. Ms Grainger has been employed by the Society for almost 5 years. Since 2012, she has been the Manager Regulatory Services and in addition, she has been the acting CEO of the Society since June 2016.
Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) supports the government’s announcement to increase annual funding of the youth justice system, with a focus on increased services for diversion and bail support.
Society President Mr Tass Liveris said, “Northern Territory courts lock up more young people than anywhere else in Australia, which is extremely expensive and does nothing to reduce crime and re-offending. For many years the Society has said that rather than spending money on locking people up, government ought to invest in programs such as diversion, bail support, youth conferencing and rehabilitation. Early childhood intervention is critical and is proven to help steer young people away from the criminal justice system, which the entire community wants to see, rather than entrench them in it..”.
Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) today expressed support for the statement in relation to youth sentencing that was issued by the Chief Justice on 20 January 2017.
Society President Mr Tass Liveris said, “As was noted by the Chief Justice, the nature and function of judicial office means there are heavy restrictions on the extent that judges can enter into public debate about their decisions and about issues in the justice system. However, the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration Guide to Judicial Conduct recognises that in some circumstances, carefully measured public comment by courts may be desirable and important to assist the public’s understanding of the administration of justice. Given the prominence that youth sentencing has had in recent public discussion, the statement by the Chief Justice accords with well established principles and may assist to enhance public confidence in the judiciary.”.
The Society makes no comments about any public perceptions or whether there has been any change in the behaviour of judicial officers following the announcement of the current Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
Media attention has recently been drawn to orders made by the Youth Justice Court to supress the names of young people appearing before that Court.
Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) president Mr Tass Liveris said, “It is important to remember that the Northern Territory is the only place in Australia where juvenile courts are completely open to the public and make no restriction on reporting proceedings. The Society has long held the view that the Northern Territory should step into line with the rest of the country on the issue of open juvenile courts. Mr Liveris said, “The Society made calls on the last Territory government to amend the Youth Justice Act to restrict the publication of youth court proceedings, but in spite of those calls there are no restrictions at all. We need to do what we can to reduce the alarmingly high levels of juvenile incarceration, reintegrate juveniles into the community and stop the cycle of re-offending.”
The heads of Australia’s eight law societies representing more than 60,000 practising solicitors have called on the Prime Minster to return funding to the legal assistance sector in an open letter to be published in The Australian tomorrow (4 November 2016).
Mr Tass Liveris, President of Law Society Northern Territory, said that the legal assistance sector, which includes Legal Aid, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Community Legal Centres, will face a funding cut of 30 per cent or the equivalent of around $35 million from 1 July next year.
“Adequate legal assistance services are critical in ensuring fairness and efficiency in our court system and are essential to providing access to justice for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our communities,” Mr Liveris said.
Law Society Northern Territory congratulates David Woodroffe on his Appointment as NAAJA Principal Legal Officer
Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) congratulates David Woodroffe on his appointment as the Principal Legal Officer (“PLO”) of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (“NAAJA”).
Mr Woodroffe has been a member of the Society’s Council since 2014. During that time, he has been the chairman of the Society’s Reconciliation Action Plan Implementation Committee and the Society’s representative on the Law Council of Australia’s Criminal Law Committee. He was awarded the prestigious Indigenous Legal professional of the year award in 2013.
Society president Mr Tass Liveris said, “Mr Woodroffe has had a distinguished career in the criminal law. He is an established and respected advocate and defence lawyer and routinely represents clients in the Supreme Court and the Local Court. Mr Woodroffe is also an established manager of staff, having been the managing criminal solicitor for NAAJA since 2010 and he brings to the role the important balance of being both a good lawyer and a good manager.”