Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) welcomes the Attorney-General's announcement today that the federal government will no longer cut $35 million, or 30%, out of funding to community legal centres (“CLC”) from 1 July 2017.
Society president Mr Tass Liveris said, “Territory CLCs have been under-resourced for far too long and are in increasingly high demand. Every year, a growing number of Territorians facing legal disputes have been unable to access legal assistance, leading to significant social and financial consequences affecting the whole community. The federal government’s 1 July cuts would have been crippling for Territory CLCs and had devastating consequences here, especially for families, women and children and remote and Indigenous Territorians.”
Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) welcomes the Attorney-General's announcement today that the Supreme and Local Court Registrar, Sarah McNamara, has been appointed a Local Court judge in Alice Springs.
Society President Mr Tass Liveris said, "The Society has long supported judicial appointments from within the local profession to the greatest extent possible, diversity in the legal profession and the judiciary and access to justice in the regions. Registrar McNamara’s appointment progresses each of these causes.”.
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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.