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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.”

Moving forward, the Society wishes NAAJA every success in continuing CAALAS’s work to meet the high demand for quality legal services in the greater Central Australian region. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is the Northern Territory is approximately 30% and it is well documented that there is a crisis in Indigenous imprisonment and disadvantage in the justice system.

For many years, NAAJA and CAALAS have been the largest legal practices in the Northern Territory. It is critical that secure and sustainable legal services are recognised as being a core part of the response to Indigenous incarceration and disadvantage in the justice system.

Mr Liveris said, “In the new era of a single provider of Territory-wide Aboriginal legal services in the Northern Territory, the focus must remain on the community, as consumers of legal services, witnesses, victims and interpreters. It is vital that all Central Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can continue to access high quality, therapeutic and culturally appropriate legal representation and the Society wishes NAAJA every success in taking on this important work.”

END OF RELEASE

Contact person:

Mr Tass Liveris
President

Telephone: 0419 011 122

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