Law Society Northern Territory calls for action to support Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission
The Law Society Northern Territory (Society) has previously expressed concern at the issues impactingthe operations of North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA).
Of equal concern and importance is the impact that these issues are having on the wider legal aidcommunity and in particular on the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission (NTLAC).
NTLAC cannot be expected to pick up the additional criminal matters workload resulting from the current NAAJA issues. NTLAC undertakes an important role in representing vulnerable members of the community navigate the criminal justice system but it cannot come at the cost of the health, wellbeing and welfare of its legal practitioners.
The Society calls upon the Territory and Commonwealth governments to work with NTLAC to ensure ithas the necessary funding, resources and support to undertake not only its core functions but in the immediate future, any additional workload flowing from the current situation at NAAJA.
Society President Mr Richard Henschke said, “NTLAC funding and resourcing has long been an issue and it cannot be expected to continue to provide its existing level of support and services as well as pick up an additional workload at short notice without immediate extra government support.
The current situation requires a quick and decisive response.”