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Latest news

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.”

“One recommendation of the Pathways to Justice report was the abolition of mandatory sentencing. This Territory government made a commitment prior to its election to abolish mandatory sentencing and more than 2 years later the community is still waiting for the government to honour its promise.”, Ms Savvas said.

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NT Government’s ‘unacceptable’ Don Dale backflip fails young people and community

Tuesday 26th March 2019

The Law Society Northern Territory and Law Council of Australia have called on the Gunner government to honour its commitment to replace the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre with a new purpose-built facility as a matter of urgency.

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Territory, released in November 2017, recommended Don Dale be closed and replaced to protect the safety and rights of children in detention.

The NT Government promised to implement all 227 Royal Commission recommendations, however, a year on Don Dale remains.

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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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NT Human Rights Awards - The Fitzgeralds

Nominations are now open for the 2018 NT Human Rights Awards.

There are Awards for an individual and organization in each of the four categories: Youth, Justice, Social Change and Diversity

Check out our website for the diverse array of former winners: 

Nominate early, nominate often.

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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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Office Location

Level 3, 9 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800

Mailing Address

GPO Box 2388
Darwin NT 0801


Telephone: (08) 8981 5104
Fax: (08) 8941 1623
ABN: 62 208 314 893