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Law Society NT Logo

Media centre

The Society's CEO handles all media requests for information or interviews. The Society's primary spokesperson is the President of the day.


Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (08) 8981 5104
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Administration Support Officer
Telephone: (08) 8981 5104
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Senior Policy Lawyer
Telephone: (08) 8981 5104
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Page last updated 4 September 2015

Media Releases


Lawrie v Lawler

Law Society Northern Territory welcomes government review of abortion laws

Law Society Northern Territory renews calls for a purpose build Youth Detention Facility

Territory lawyers dominate leadership roles


Law Society appoints new President - 4 November 2014

Law Society calls for bipartisan support for amendments to Anti-Discrimination Act - 1 October 2014

Peter Maley granted Practising Certificate - 16 September 2014

Peter Maley - 29 August 2014

Law Society Northern Territory launches Reconciliation Action Plan - 22 August 2014

Political affiliations of sitting judicial officers - 12.August 2014

Law Society calls for purpose built juvinile detention centre - 8 August 2014

Corrections Bill does not live up to New Era - 1 July 2014

Law Society calls upon the Australian government to reconsider its position and maintain the IAAAS funding - 2 April 2014

Law Society Northern Territory calls for broad terms of reference into foetal alcohol spectrum disorder - 25 March 2014

National Attrition and Re-Engagement Study (NARS ) Report - 14 March 2014


Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year - 8 November

Access to justice reduced by substantial increases in Supreme Court fees - 25 June

Budget Response - 14 May

Law Week - 10 May

Proposed Substantial increases in Supreme Court filing fees - 6 March


Dismay at short sighted proposals - 4 December

Territorians are being taken for a joy ride - 21 August

Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers disregards access to justice for asylum seekers - 16 August

Children's rights trampled - 1 June

Language and the Law Conference - 24 May

Law Week 2012 - 15 May

Darwin Detention Centres are putting additional pressure on the health and legal system in the Territory - 27 April

Courts closing the door on families? - 16 April

A Very Large Bulldozer to fast-track the work - 29 March

Law Society Invites Increased Funding to Support Immigration Detainees - 14 March

Opening of the Legal Year - 3 February


Law Society Welcomes New Attorney-General - 28 October

Youth Justice Review - 27 October

Presidents and Prisons at Law Society AGM - 14 October

Territorian voted the ?2011 Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year? - 15 August

Nobody wins in a Law and Order Auction - 31 May


Parole Decisions need to remain with the Parole Board - 16 December

Law Society Northern Territory releases Alcohol Policy - 23 November

NT Child Protection Report: Giving Children a Voice - 18 October

Law Society Welcomes Northern Territory Governments Alcohol Initiative - 2 September

Law Society Welcomes Appointment of New Chief Magistrate - 28 July

Law Society Welcomes the Appointment of the New Chief Justice - 22 July

Law Society Welcomes the Appointments of a new Judge and Magistrate - 24 March


Law Society welcomes new Senior Counsel

Law Society echoes Chief Justice's outrage on Mental Health Facilities - 18 September 2009

Law Week Launch - 8 May 2009

Mentoring programme for Indigenous Law Students - 22 April 2009

Joint media release - Commonwealth Law Courts Building needed now - 2 March 2009

Darwin lawyer drops appeal against Disciplinary Tribunal - 2 February 2009

Lawyers to reflect on the big issues for OLY 2009 - 29 January 2009

Income management system needs backup plan - 20 January 2009


Retiring Chief Justice to ponder whether litigation has a purpose - 11 August 2008

Tougher sentencing is not the answer - 23 July 2008

NT Lawyers keen to deliver pro bono services - 24 May 2008


Law Society welcomes back down on Alice Springs Family Court Registry closure - 23 October 2007

Page last updated 4 November 2014

Media guidelines

The primary spokesperson for the Law Sociery Northern Territory is the President of the day. All enquiries must be directed to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on (08) 8981 5140. Please do not attempt to contact the President directly.

Lawyers have heavy caseloads and are frequently unavailable; your patience is appreciated in this regard.

Page last updated 6 March 2014

Explanation of legal terms

Below are listed some of the more common legal terms, with a working definition. If you require further explanation, please do not hesitate to ask the lawyer handling your matter, or the Society.

ADJOURNMENT: Means that a court hearing has been put off to another time or day. If not to a fixed day, the term used is adjourned sine die (i.e. Latin for 'without a set date').

AFFIDAVIT: Is a statement in paragraph form that is sworn by the person who makes the statement. Affidavits sometimes replace the need for spoken evidence. They may also be known as 'depositions' and are similar to statutory declarations, which are not necessarily intended to be used in the court process.

APPEAL: If you receive an adverse judgment, then you may be able to appeal, which means that a higher judge or a number of judges will review your matter and decide if the first decision was wrong.

If you win your matter, the other side may also appeal against the decision which was made in your favour. An appeal is a limited review and you will not be able to present your evidence in the case again.

BAR: The phrase 'admitted to the bar' means that a lawyer has become a barrister (see below).

BARRISTER: A lawyer who prefers to appear in court. Barristers practice by themselves, but can share premises with other barristers. Those premises are called 'chambers'. Barristers often provide opinions and advice on a case which has been prepared by a person's solicitor. Except in very restricted circumstances, barristers cannot be engaged directly by a client, and are retained and instructed on your behalf by your solicitor. Barristers are also called 'counsel'.

DEFENCE OR ANSWER: In civil matters, these words describe the document which the defendant provides that answers the claims in the plaintiff's written pleadings. It is also known as a 'response' or 'set off'. If it makes a claim against the person who began the legal action, it can be called counterclaim or cross demand.

DEFENDANT: Is a person (or entity) against whom legal action has been taken.

DISBURSEMENTS: Out-of-pocket expenses such as medical reports, photocopying, transcript costs, travel and witness costs which your lawyers will organise on your behalf. The client must provide money to the lawyer to cover these costs associated with their case.

DISCOVERY: Is a process by which categories of documents are made available for inspection by the other side. The documents must be relevant to an issue which is disputed in the case. The court will order that the party gather together relevant documents and make them available for the other party to inspect. The documents thus 'discovered' are named or described in a 'List of Documents'.

EVIDENCE: Is used to prove facts in a case. It can be spoken or written, and sometimes includes objects, photos and documents. Sometimes court evidence is taken from witnesses who appear via video link. Not all evidence is allowable - the court can decide that evidence is 'inadmissible', which means that you will not be able to say or use it in court. The rules of evidence are complex and it is important to get advice about the evidence you want to use in your case.

HEARING: Is the term for a full court case. Evidence is presented to the court, and the court gets all the information it needs to decide who will win the case. The hearing is the important court date. This term refers to the time when the spoken and/or written evidence is presented to the Court, and can be distinguished from other court dates which are for procedural and preparatory matters, including mentions, directions hearings and interlocutory applications.

CHAMBER OF INTERLOCUTORY SUMMONS: This summons is a document used to bring an existing legal action to court, so that the court can make orders which are needed to get the case ready for hearing. These may also be known as a chamber summons or application and are generally supported by affidavits and not spoken evidence.

INTERROGATORIES: Is a series of written questions that must be answered by a party to a legal matter. They are generally answered before the court case is heard, by way of a sworn affidavit.

JUDGE/S: Preside over higher courts, such as the Supreme Court, Federal Court or High Court.

JUDGMENT: This is the decision of the court, and the result of a court case. It may also be described as 'Reasons for Decision'.

JURISDICTION: This term generally refers to a court system. Each state or territory has its own system, and therefore its own jurisdiction. A federal jurisdiction applies across all the states and territories.

LAW SOCIETY: This is a statutory body that controls the affairs of the legal profession. The Society issues Practising Certificates, regulates conduct rules between lawyers, deals with complaints against lawyers and manages funds designed to compensate people who have lost trust money through the default of a lawyer. If you have any concerns about your lawyer, and are unable to resolve those concerns directly with your lawyer's firm, then you should contact the Society and ask for assistance.

MAGISTRATE: Presides in local courts and courts of summary jurisdiction. These are often called Magistrates Courts. Most legal matters are dealt with by magistrates. A magistrate does not ever sit with a jury.

PARTY, PLAINTIFF, DEFENDANT: A party is one of the people or entities involved in the legal matter. Legal matters are usually referred to by using the names of the parties, i.e. Smith v Jones.

A party who brings a claim is known as a plaintiff (or occasionally, the applicant), and a party against whom a claim is brought is known as a defendant (or respondent). In an appeal, the person who lodges the appeal is called the appellant and the other side is called the respondent.

SOLICITOR: Is a lawyer who gives legal advice and does legal work, and who can also appear in court, but who does not do court appearances as often as a barrister. Some solicitors are also called partners or associates depending on their seniority. In the Client Lawyer Cost Agreement the term lawyer is used instead of solicitor.

PRACTISING CERTIFICATE: A legal practitioner's licence to practice law in the Northern Territory, which must be renewed annually.

SUBPOENA: This is a document issued by the court which calls a person to give evidence to the court at a certain time. Subpoenas are also called summons to witness, or summons to produce documents.

UNSATISFACTORY JUDGEMENT SUMMONS: If a decision was made against you in court, and you were ordered to pay money to another person, the court may summons you to come and explain why the money has not been paid. If you are having trouble paying, the court might make orders that allow you to pay the money by installments.

WARRANT: This is a document issued by a court, which allows an official, or bailiff, to sell your property to pay a judgment or court order. Warrants are also a court documents that allows the police to arrest you, or to seize property from you.

WRIT, WRIT OF SUMMONS, STATMENT OF CLAIM OR APPLICATION: These words are used to describe the document that starts a legal action. The document which initiates legal proceedings is variously called 'statement of claim', 'originating motion', notice of motion' and 'application'. Usually, it will set out the legal claim being made, and the remedy sought (usually compensation, called 'damages'), but it will not include facts or evidence.

Page last updated 9 January 2009

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