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.
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.”
Law Society Northern Territory (Society) congratulates Miles Crawley, who today received an appointment as Senior Counsel at an admission ceremony in the Supreme Court in Darwin.
Society President Mr Tass Liveris said, “Mr Crawley’s appointment as Senior Counsel is welcome and well deserved. Mr Crawley has been in practice for many years in South Australia and the Northern Territory and he demonstrates all of the attributes required for appointment as Senior Counsel, including exemplary knowledge of the law, a high level of skill as an advocate and a demonstrated commitment to the best traditions of the Bar and the administration of justice.”
Applications now open
The Koowarta Scholarship was established in 1994, with the aim of promoting the study and practice of the law by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and, commemorates John Koowarta as a member of the Winychanam community and a traditional owner of the Archer River region on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. John Koowarta is widely regarded as being at the forefront of Aboriginal land rights in Australia during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is today revered as one of the most important figures in the progression of Native Title rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Relationships Australia Northern Territory are about to embark on a project providing Legally Assisted and Culturally Appropriate Family Dispute Resolution (LACAFDR) services to families who have experienced domestic violence.
The project will include facilitating family law mediations in Darwin, Palmerston, Alice Springs, Katherine, and other rural and remote locations.
We invite Territory legal practitioners to join us in this project, by providing legal advice and representation to the parties involved. A pre-determined base hourly rate and disbursements will be paid to private practitioners.
Media attention has recently been drawn to calls to increase mandatory sentences of imprisonment for assaults on Police officers.
Law Society NT (Society) president Mr Tass Liveris said, “Northern Territory courts lock up more people than anywhere else in Australia and it hasn’t reduced crime or re-offending. We are all seeing our imprisonment and re-offending rates continually going up. Our Indigenous imprisonment rate is in crisis. Making sentencing laws even harsher is not going to stop assaults or make the community any safer; it will only make these problems worse.”
The Law Society NT (Society) calls on people in the Northern Territory to tell their story as part of a national review into access to justice.
The Society today called on people in the Northern Territory to help show the human face of the crisis affecting access to justice in Australia by telling their story to the Law Council’s Justice Project – which has today moved into its consultation phase. The Justice Project is a comprehensive national review into the state of access to justice in Australia, supported by the Society, focusing on challenges for the most vulnerable. Consultation papers, overseen by a Steering Committee of eminent lawyers, academics and jurists including former High Court Chief Justice, the Hon. Robert French AC, have been distributed nationally.
The Law Society NT (Society) welcomes the announcement of the appointment of Judge Elizabeth Morris as Deputy Chief Judge of the Local Court.
Society spokesperson Maria Savvas said, “Judge Morris is respected by the legal profession and has a significant and longstanding connection to the Northern Territory. Her commitment to the Northern Territory community is demonstrated through her considerable involvement since arriving in the Northern Territory in 1990. Judge Morris’ ascension to the position of Deputy Chief Judge is well deserved and recognises her dedication and leadership within the Local Court.”
The appointment of Greg Macdonald as a new Local Court judge is also welcomed by the Society.
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.”