Library services for Alice Springs prisoners

CLANT is delighted to hear that Alice Springs Correctional Services inmates now have access to library services through the Alice Springs Public Library.

Thanks go to Birgit Nielsen and Georgina Davison from the Alice Springs Public Library; Kevin Raby and Madonna Cochrane from the Alice Springs Correctional Centre; and to CLANT member and law librarian Helen Edney, all of whom were instrumental in getting this much-needed service up and running.

CLANT has supported this initiative, and welcomes its establishment.

For obvious reasons, it is impracticable for prisons to maintain a comprehensive collection of reading material in-house, so this service makes very good sense.  We hope that before too long similar services will be made available to prisoners at the Darwin and Tennant Creek correctional facilities. 

Opposing Racial Vilification

On 10 December 2013, CLANT joined 154 other organisations across Australia in calling for the retention of the provisions in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) outlawing racial vilification, by co-signing this Open Letter to the Commonwealth Attorney-General.

CLANT provides further assistance to Titus Ani

At its December 2013 meeting, the CLANT Committee unanimously resolved to provide a further $15,000 to assist Titus Ani, a Nigerian national on death row in Bali.

In a previous note, we informed members of CLANT's support for this case (an initial grant of $10,000 in about 2010, and a further grant of $20,000 in 2012).  Mr Ani’s legal team addressed the 2013 CLANT Bali conference, and presented this  case note and a paper on the general principles raised by the case, "International Law and the Death Row Phenomenon".

On 18 December 2013, CLANT received the following update from Mr Ani's pro bono legal team:

In October of this year we filed Titus’ final appeal.  This documentation included affidavits from 10 witnesses, 5 expert reports and detailed legal submissions.

The evidence is compelling and proves beyond any doubt that Titus Ani has been incorrectly sentenced as someone he is not.  He has been sentenced as a regular drug trafficker.  This is incorrect and we can prove this in Court. 

In a few weeks time, Titus will mark 10 years since he was imprisoned.  The majority of that time has been on death row.

We are presently awaiting hearing dates.  We had thought that the hearing would have taken place by now.  It is likely that dates will now be provided early in the new year.

While the delay has been frustrating on one level it has been quite helpful on another.  We are flying 4 Nigerian witnesses to the hearing and have experienced great difficulties in obtaining visas for each of them.  The extra time has allowed us to retain Nigerian counsel to assist in obtaining the visas.  We will find a way through this complex bureaucracy to ensure that the Court is presented with all witnesses of fact.

In the meantime, and on behalf of Titus’ entire legal team and Titus himself, thank you for your support, and we wish you a very happy Christmas.

Churchill Fellowships - 2014 Information Session

CLANT members who attended the 2013 Bali conference will recall this excellent presentation by Churchill Fellow and CLANT member Jared Sharp.  Well, maybe you too can become a Churchill Fellow!  To find our more, come along to the Churchill Fellowships 2014 Information Session at 5.15 pm on 28 January 2014, at the Jury Muster Room, Supreme Court, State Square Darwin.  For further details, click here.

Community calls for action on alcohol

APONT (Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT) has recently released the Central Australian Grog Summit report which calls on the government to listen to the community and the experts on alcohol.

The Grog Summit brought together over 100 people from Aboriginal communities and organisations across the NT and a number of experts with academic and community experience to discuss alcohol-related harm in the community. The participants agreed that alcohol policy should be based on evidence, and that strategies should be holistic and community driven. The Report presents the community participants' and experts' views, and outlines a comprehensive multi-pronged approach to dealing with alcohol-related harm in the community. 

Significantly, representatives of Aboriginal organisations and communities in attendance at the Grog Summit have also called for a joint Northern Territory government and Commonwealth government Board of Inquiry into Alcohol Consumption and Harm in the NT. A copy of the proposed terms of reference is available here.

NT Women's Lawyers' Association xmas soiree

The NT Women's Lawyers' Association invites women laywers, colleagues and champions to its Christmas soiree on Thursday 12 December 2013, 5pm to 7pm, at the NT Anti-Discrimination Commission Courtroom in Darwin.

The guest speaker will be Judge Alexandra Harland, Federal Circuit Court, who will discuss topical tropical issues.

$5 for members

$15 for non-members

Christmas Party Invitation 2013 v4

2013 National Indigenous Legal Conference a big success

CLANT congratulates CAALAS on hosting the successful 2013 National Indigenous Legal Conference. CAALAS, NAAJA and a number of other conference participants have released a joint media release condemning discriminatory practices under Stronger Futures. You can read the media release here.

Free CPD by Gray J - Post 'Bugmy' sentencing

CLANT and NAAJA host free CPD on 28th November 2013 at 6pm in the Family Law Registry, Darwin, and selected regional centres by video-link. Registration is essential - contact Will Crawford at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Judge Gray CPD

Alcohol Protection Orders: more bad law?

Clients of Aboriginal legal services will bear the brunt of the NT Government's proposed new Alcohol Protection Orders. NAAJA and CAALAS have responded with pdfa letter to Chief Minister Giles urging him not to proceed with the Bill, which, if enacted, will have the effect of criminalising many people for suffering from the health problem of alcohol abuse.

Woody, you're a legend!

CLANT enthusiastically joins the chorus acclaiming the announcement that CLANT member David Woodroffe has been named as the 2013 Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year.  Woody has worked tirelessly for Aboriginal Legal Services in both the Kimberley, and up and down the track in the Territory, for many years.  As NAAJA Chairperson Michael Petterson puts it, "He is truly an ALS legend".

Sharman Stone MP presented the award on behalf of the Commonwealth Attorney-General at the Eighth National Indigenous Legal Conference/CAALAS 40th Birthday Ball.  This is what Dr Stone said:

The winner of this award was a standout nominee – he has demonstrated dedication to both championing the rights of indigenous Australians in a legal context and providing exceptional legal representation and advice over a long period of time.  He has demonstrated strong leadership in managing a busy criminal law practice, with a client-base spread across the top end and often in remote areas.  He is known for his commitment to ensuring that his clients receive the best possible legal representation. He has also demonstrated commitment to the ongoing professional development of his team members and himself.  He has shown rare dedication and commitment in a sector renowned for its considerable challenges.  I would like to warmly congratulate the 2013 National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year, Mr David Woodroffe.

Sex offences & Restorative Justice Seminar

Practitioners are invited to attend a video screening at the Darwin Commonwealth Law Courts on 28 November 2013 at 4.00 pm of an AIJA Seminar on the potential for restorative justice alternatives to the criminal justice system for certain types of sexual assault cases – most notably historic/family cases and so-called "date gone wrong" cases, which frequently result in acquittals. The Panel in this Melbourne Q & A session moderated by Damien Carrick, presenter of ABC RN's "The Law Report", will feature legal experts including the Hon Justice Marcia Neave AO of the Victorian Court of Appeal.

At the 2011 AIJA criminal justice conference, Neave J presented an important paper on this topic, which was also addressed in this paper given by Huggett DCJ at the 2013 CLANT confernce.

For further details, including how to register to attend the Seminar, read pdfthis Notice.

Criminal law reform issues update: October 2013

In October 2013, the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice presented Information Sessions on current Northern Territory law reform issues.  If you missed the session conducted in your area, you can catch up by reading pdfthis presentation (reproduced by permission of DoA-G&J), adapted here to cover only criminal law reform issues.

The CLANT AGM: new blood on the Committee

On 23 August 2013, CLANT conducted well-attended AGMs for 2011/12 and 2012/13.  The pdfPresident's Report detailed the challenges and achievements of the last two years, and we were pleased to report a $33,000 increase (before tax) in our assets over the 24 months to 30 June 2013.  A Committee consisting mainly of new members was elected from a mix of prosecution, defence and policy backgrounds.

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