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Territory Government needs to move on pathways to Justice recommendations

28 March 2019

The Law Society Northern Territory (the Society) supports the call today by the Law Council of Australia for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to respond to and implement recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission's (ALRC) Pathways to Justice Report.

The Society’s President, Maria Savvas, said “The Pathways to Justice report was released a year ago today and its recommendations offer measures to address the over-incarceration of Indigenous people. This issue continues to be of serious concern in the Northern Territory with our incarcerated youth being almost exclusively Indigenous and our adult prisons filled with disproportionately high numbers of Indigenous people.”

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Government backflip on youth justice reforms stirs Law Society

The Law Society Northern Territory (the Society) is deeply concerned by the bill introduced to parliament yesterday proposing regressive amendments to the Youth Justice Act 2005.

The Society’s President, Maria Savvas, said “These amendments to the Youth Justice Act 2005 are a retrograde step and bypass recommendations from the Royal Commission. The Society welcomed the amendments made to the Youth Justice Act 2005 in May 2018 as an important step toward achieving a youth justice system to the standard expected by the community and envisioned by Commissioners White and Gooda. It is bewildering why these amendments have had to be made on an urgent basis and to apply retrospectively.”

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Government must commit to reforming broken youth justice system

The Law Society Northern Territory (the Society) has expressed disappointment and concern at recent events at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. Society President Maria Savvas said, “Six months ago we were heartened by the Northern Territory’s positive response to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. We welcomed Michael Gunner’s announcement that his government had accepted the intent and direction of all 227 recommendations, and his commitment to reform our broken youth justice system. However, recent incidents in our youth detention centres, culminating in the serious disturbances at Don Dale this week, have badly shaken our confidence in the government’s capacity to make the changes required.

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Launch of Mandatory Reading: Lawyers and Life in the Northern Territory

The President of the Society, Maria Savvas said "The Society is proud to launch this impressive publication, a 280-page coffee table style book, written and published by well-known and respected local historians Peter and Sheila Forrest. It is replete with wonderful photographs and compelling stories of the colourful men and women of our law. Theirs is a great Territory story."

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Expression of Interest: Provision of Advice for Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation

Department of the Legislative Assembly

Expressions of interest are invited from suitably qualified lawyers and academics to provide advice for Legislative Assembly committees to assist their consideration of whether Bills and subordinate legislation have sufficient regard to the rights and liberties of individuals and the institution of Parliament in accordance with Sessional Orders 13(4)(c) and 14(2)(g) (see https://parliament.nt.gov.au/business/standing-and-sessional-orders).

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Open law reform consultation

Best practice review of workplace health and safety in the NT

The NT Government has begun a six month review of NT WorkSafe. Independent consultant Tim Lyons has been commissioned to conduct the review following his work with a similar review of the Queensland regulator. Mr Lyons will now work closely with a Territory reference group made up of industry, union and government nominees to look into strengthening NT WorkSafe’s policies, procedures and activities.

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31st LAWASIA Conference - Call for speakers

Registrations and speaker submissions now open

New Era for South East Asia

2-5 November 2018

The Annual Conference is LAWASIA’s flagship event and the highlight of its professional events program. A platform for the convergence of bar leaders, jurists, professional organisations and individual lawyers from across the Asia Pacific. It serves as an important forum for sharing ideas, building professional networks, reinforcing shared professional values, advocating for the rule of law, and advancing the status of the legal profession in the Asia Pacific.

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National Indigenous Law Awards

The National Indigenous Law Awards aim to highlight and recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who demonstrate a passion and commitment to improving justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Nominations for the 2018 awards open at 9:00 am AEST on Tuesday 29 May 2018 and close at 12: 00 pm AEST on Friday 29 June 2018.

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Youth justice reform hailed, government urged to do more

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) welcomes the passing of the amendments to the Youth Justice Act (Act) but calls on the government to do more.

The landmark amendments passed by the Parliament yesterday were based on key recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory (Royal Commission). This reform prohibits harm to children and prevents cruel and inhumane treatment in youth justice facilities. “The amendments now prohibit the use of solitary confinement as a form of punishment, limit the use of force, prohibit the use of restraints for behavioural management and limit the way searches can be conducted. These changes ensure the horrors of Don Dale are not repeated,” Society President Maria Savvas said.

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Let’s Celebrate Law Week – Achieving justice

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) is delighted that the Northern Territory Courts and other organisations are participating in Law Week 2018.

There are a number of community focussed events being held to mark Law Week which is celebrated nationally from Sunday 13 May to Sunday 21 May. Law Week is an opportunity to engage with members of the public to share information about our legal system and work toward a broader understanding of how the law works.

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Ron Shorter Award 2018

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION

The Ron Shorter Award is AILA’s flagship public speaking competition for young professionals in the insurance industry, providing invaluable public speaking training as well as exposure to industry peers and luminaries. Over 200 young insurance professionals have benefited from the competition since it began in 2012.

In 2018, the competition is open to all young professionals in the insurance and insurance law industry, in every state and territory.

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Review of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has now released the consultation paper for a review of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules (ASCR). A copy of the Review of the ASCR Consultation Discussion Paper can be found on the LCA website here.

Whilst the Northern Territory has not yet adopted the ASCR it is important for Territory practitioners to consider the proposed changes as they may affect this jurisdiction if the ASCR are adopted in the future. At present the ASCR have been adopted in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Tasmania is in the process of adopting them.

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Safe and Vibrant Communities: EOI Called for NT Liquor Commission

The Territory Labor Government is delivering safe and vibrant communities with Expressions of Interest released for members of the Territory’s planned Liquor Commission.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Natasha Fyles said this was a key recommendation from the Alcohol Policy and Legislation Review (Riley Review) delivered by former Chief Justice Trevor Riley.

“The former CLP scrapped the Liquor Commission in 2014, locking community groups out of a key step in liquor licensing approvals,” she said.

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Dedicated refugee lawyer announced NT Young Australian of the Year

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) congratulates Kevin Kadirgamar on being awarded NT Young Australian of the Year on Wednesday evening.

Society President Maria Savvas said, “Mr Kardirgamar’s dedication to advancing the interests of the some of the most vulnerable people in our community is to be commended and this accolade is a welcome acknowledgement of his important contribution.”

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A Territory first; NT wins National Golden Gavel

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) is extremely proud to congratulate Micah Kickett on winning the National Golden Gavel in Sydney on 20 October 2017. Mr Kickett is the first contestant from the Northern Territory to win the prestigious national public speaking prize for young lawyers, described in some quarters as the 'Eurovision of the legal profession'.

Each year, young lawyers display their public speaking skills, creativity and comedic wit at state and territory Golden Gavel competitions. The 8 winners from each state and territory then come together to compete at the National Golden Gavel. The format is fun, frivolous and impromptu, with each contestant given 24 hours notice of their topic and then 5 minutes to deliver their presentation.

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Law Society Northern Territory acknowledges new era of Territory Aboriginal Legal Services

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) acknowledges the announcement today that the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) will provide legal services to Central Australia from 1 January 2018.

Before looking forward, the Society first acknowledges the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS) and the legal services it has provided Indigenous people in the Central Australian region since 1973. Society president Mr Tass Liveris said, “CAALAS is the second Aboriginal Legal Service to be established in Australia, behind only the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT, which was set up in Redfern in 1970. Since 1973, CAALAS has represented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Alice Springs and the surrounding 900,000 square kilometres of the region with commitment, dedication and effect, in often challenging circumstances. The Society acknowledges the immeasurable contribution that CAALAS and its many staff, board members, supporters and volunteers has made to the people of Central Australia and the administration of justice for over 4 decades.”

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Level 3, 9 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800

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Darwin NT 0801

Contact

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Fax: (08) 8941 1623
Email: lawsoc@lawsocietynt.asn.au
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