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).Read more
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.”Read more
Law Society Northern Territory (Society) supports the Prime Minister’s calls for a royal commission into the abuse of juveniles in the Northern Territory corrections system.
Society president Mr Tass Liveris said, “Whilst the Society welcomes the overwhelming nation-wide response that the 4 Corners expose has provoked, these are not new issues. The Society, amongst other stakeholders, has long been drawing attention to the enormous crisis in juvenile detention in the Northern Territory and been calling for real and immediate action. Unfortunately, these calls have been largely ignored and the result is the shocking and deepening crisis in juvenile detention in the Northern Territory.”
Mr Liveris said, “The government should have closed Don Dale Youth Detention Centre years ago and acted on the16 recommendations of the January 2015 Vita report and reports from successive Children’s Commissioners. However, despite the alarming escalation of juvenile imprisonment rates, especially in the Indigenous community, the government has only ever responded in an ad hoc, band-aid way that has now been shown to have comprehensively failed the community.”Read more
Law Society NT (Society) welcomes the announcement that Sonia Brownhill SC will succeed Michael Grant QC as the Solicitor-General for the Northern Territory.
Ms Brownhill will become the first female Solicitor-General in the history of the Northern Territory. Society President Tass Liveris said, “Ms Brownhill’s appointment is an important one, as it continues the growing trend of local lawyers being appointed to senior and leadership roles in the legal profession and the judiciary, as well as that of high achieving women in the law.”.
Ms Brownhill was appointed Crown Counsel in 2005, where she routinely appeared in the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia. In 2011, Ms Brownhill joined the independent Bar, practicing in areas such as property law (including native title and Aboriginal land matters), administrative and public law, town planning, general contract law, negligence and personal injury law. In 2015, she became only the third female to be appointed Senior Counsel in the Northern Territory under the Supreme Court (Senior Counsel) Rules.Read more
The Law Society Northern Territory (Society) today threw its support behind an unprecedented national ‘Legal Aid Matters’ campaign (http://legalaidmatters.org.au) aimed at ensuring the next Federal Government responds decisively to Australia’s legal aid funding crisis.
With rallies and events occurring in major cities in this national Law Week, the Legal Aid Matters campaign will bring a sharp focus to the funding crisis that crippling this vital justice safety net.
Tass Liveris (Society President) said that Australia’s legal aid system is in crisis and that justice is being denied to thousands of Australians each year.
“Successive federal governments have ripped hundreds of millions of dollars from legal aid, crippling this vital justice safety net,” Mr Liveris said.Read more
The Law Society Northern Territory President Mr Tass Liveris expressed concern about the proposed changes to bail laws. “Everyone is sick and tired of what communities see as the revolving door of jail. We have been on this path for some time and the community is no safer for it. These proposed changes are another step in the wrong direction.” Mr Liveris said.
“This does not respond to community concerns because it will not fix the problem – it will only make it worse.” Mr Liveris said.
“Communities are calling for real action on this issue – everyone including the Minister knows that locking kids up does nothing to curb offending – when young people are exposed to the criminal justice system they are much more likely to become adult offenders. And we have more than enough of those.” Mr Liveris said. Mr Liveris referred to the Australian Institute of Criminology research that young people diverted from the court system were less likely to have further involvement in the criminal justice system. Mr Liveris noted the 2011 Review of Youth Justice in NT that recommended the need for more diversionary programs and increased eligibility for diversion in light of increasing rates of youth crime.Read more
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.".Read more
On 31 March the Chief Magistrate announced the closure of the Mutitjulu Court.Read more
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.Read more
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.2Read more
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.Read more
It is traditional for legal communities around the world to mark the Opening of the Legal Year (OLY) with celebrations of collegiality and the administration of justice. In the Northern Territory, Law Society Northern Territory (Society) marks the opening of the legal year with events for members and guests where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court reflects on the work of the courts and the challenges on the horizon. This year, the Society also joins other Australian law societies by marking the commencement of a national campaign for restoration of legal assistance funding.
To view the entire media release click here.Read more
On 31 December 2015, Duncan McConnel’s 7-year career with the Law Council of Australia (“LCA”) will draw to a peaceful close, drawing the line under an historic 2015 presidential year.
The LCA was established in 1933 and is the peak national representative body of the Australian legal profession. It represents about 60,000 legal practitioners nationwide. In addition to representing the legal profession at a national level the LCA advises governments, courts and federal agencies on ways that the law and justice system can be improved for the benefit of the community. The LCA also represents the Australian legal profession internationally.
Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) president Mr Tass Liveris said, “Mr McConnel’s entire LCA career is a rare and outstanding achievement, but his presidency in particular has been a significant and historic opportunity for the Territory. His great success in bringing issues that have a major impact in the Territory onto the national and international stage is what has made his presidency so remarkable.”Read more
“There is no evidence that public registers are successful in increasing community safety or reducing the rates of re-offending. There is the added risk that they create further barriers for victims to report offending.” said Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) President, Mr Tass Liveris. The Society’s concerns were expressed in relation to the Sex Offender and Child Homicide Offender Public Website (Daniel’s Law) Bill, commonly referred to as “Daniel’s Law”.Read more
The Society AGM was held last night with almost 250 members voting in person or by proxy. Mr Tass Liveris was re-elected President (unopposed) and expressed his gratitude to the 2014/15 Council, members and the secretariat for a very productive year. Copies of the annual report can be found on the Society website. The outcome of the election is below. Congratulations to the Council 2015/16.Read more
TERRITORIAN EDDIE CUBILLO WINS PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL INDIGENOUS LEGAL AWARD
At the National Indigenous Legal Conference dinner in Melbourne on 4 September 2015, former Territory lawyer Eddie Cubillo was announced as the 2015 National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year. New South Wales law student Alison Whittaker was announced as the National Indigenous Law Student of the Year.Read more
JUSTICE OUT OF REACH FOR MANY AS GOVERNMENT INCREASES SUPREME COURT FEES AGAIN
In the 2015/16 financial year, a 5-day hearing in the Supreme Court will cost an individual $9,426 and a corporation $17,683 in filing fees alone, not including any legal fees. It will cost even more for every additional day in court.
Parties will be charged thousands of dollars to file a notice of appeal. Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) today expressed deep concern about the growing size of these sorts of fees.Read more
More Articles ...
- Law Society NT welcomes Senior Counsel appointments in the NT
- 2015 Indigenous Legal Professional and Indigenous Law Student of the Year
- Law Society NT supports Change the Record Campaign
- Law Society NT launches Indigenous Protocols for Lawyers - Second Edition
- Identification of Youth Offenders
- Darwin Family Law Registry - Relocation
- Supreme Court Listings - 2016
- Behaviour of Correction Officers
- Issues Paper - Development of a Central Bond Holding Scheme
- International Treaty Against Use of Nuclear Weapons
- Supreme Court of the Northern Territory Practice Direction 1 of 2015
- Review of Academic Requirements for Admission - Legal Profession