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Open law reform consultation

Best practice review of workplace health and safety in the NT

The NT Government has begun a six month review of NT WorkSafe. Independent consultant Tim Lyons has been commissioned to conduct the review following his work with a similar review of the Queensland regulator. Mr Lyons will now work closely with a Territory reference group made up of industry, union and government nominees to look into strengthening NT WorkSafe’s policies, procedures and activities.

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31st LAWASIA Conference - Call for speakers

Registrations and speaker submissions now open

New Era for South East Asia

2-5 November 2018

The Annual Conference is LAWASIA’s flagship event and the highlight of its professional events program. A platform for the convergence of bar leaders, jurists, professional organisations and individual lawyers from across the Asia Pacific. It serves as an important forum for sharing ideas, building professional networks, reinforcing shared professional values, advocating for the rule of law, and advancing the status of the legal profession in the Asia Pacific.

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National Indigenous Law Awards

The National Indigenous Law Awards aim to highlight and recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who demonstrate a passion and commitment to improving justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Nominations for the 2018 awards open at 9:00 am AEST on Tuesday 29 May 2018 and close at 12: 00 pm AEST on Friday 29 June 2018.

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Youth justice reform hailed, government urged to do more

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) welcomes the passing of the amendments to the Youth Justice Act (Act) but calls on the government to do more.

The landmark amendments passed by the Parliament yesterday were based on key recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory (Royal Commission). This reform prohibits harm to children and prevents cruel and inhumane treatment in youth justice facilities. “The amendments now prohibit the use of solitary confinement as a form of punishment, limit the use of force, prohibit the use of restraints for behavioural management and limit the way searches can be conducted. These changes ensure the horrors of Don Dale are not repeated,” Society President Maria Savvas said.

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Let’s Celebrate Law Week – Achieving justice

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) is delighted that the Northern Territory Courts and other organisations are participating in Law Week 2018.

There are a number of community focussed events being held to mark Law Week which is celebrated nationally from Sunday 13 May to Sunday 21 May. Law Week is an opportunity to engage with members of the public to share information about our legal system and work toward a broader understanding of how the law works.

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Ron Shorter Award 2018


The Ron Shorter Award is AILA’s flagship public speaking competition for young professionals in the insurance industry, providing invaluable public speaking training as well as exposure to industry peers and luminaries. Over 200 young insurance professionals have benefited from the competition since it began in 2012.

In 2018, the competition is open to all young professionals in the insurance and insurance law industry, in every state and territory.

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Review of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has now released the consultation paper for a review of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules (ASCR). A copy of the Review of the ASCR Consultation Discussion Paper can be found on the LCA website here.

Whilst the Northern Territory has not yet adopted the ASCR it is important for Territory practitioners to consider the proposed changes as they may affect this jurisdiction if the ASCR are adopted in the future. At present the ASCR have been adopted in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Tasmania is in the process of adopting them.

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Safe and Vibrant Communities: EOI Called for NT Liquor Commission

The Territory Labor Government is delivering safe and vibrant communities with Expressions of Interest released for members of the Territory’s planned Liquor Commission.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Natasha Fyles said this was a key recommendation from the Alcohol Policy and Legislation Review (Riley Review) delivered by former Chief Justice Trevor Riley.

“The former CLP scrapped the Liquor Commission in 2014, locking community groups out of a key step in liquor licensing approvals,” she said.

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Dedicated refugee lawyer announced NT Young Australian of the Year

Law Society Northern Territory (Society) congratulates Kevin Kadirgamar on being awarded NT Young Australian of the Year on Wednesday evening.

Society President Maria Savvas said, “Mr Kardirgamar’s dedication to advancing the interests of the some of the most vulnerable people in our community is to be commended and this accolade is a welcome acknowledgement of his important contribution.”

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A Territory first; NT wins National Golden Gavel

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.

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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.”

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Law Society Northern Territory welcomes Senior Counsel Appointment in the Northern Territory

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.”

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2018 John Koowarta Reconciliation Scholarship

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.

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Legally Assisted and Culturally Appropriate Family Dispute Resolution – Call for EOI

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.

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Mandatory sentencing does not make the community safer

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.”

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Law Society NT calls on people in the NT to tell their story as part of a national review into access to justice

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.

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Strong Local NT appointments to the Local Court

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.

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Reversal of Community Legal Centre funding cuts important for the Northern Territory

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.”

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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