Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform

CLANT has made this submission to the Northern Territory Department of Health regarding abortion law reform. 

CLANT supprts the decriminalisation of abortion in the Northern Territory.

Grant CJ statement on Youth Sentencing

In response to recent media claims that lenient sentencing has somehow caused a spike in youth offending in Darwin, Northern Territory Chief Justice Michael Grant has taken the unsusual step of publishing a pdfStatement in relation to Youth Sentencing.  CLANT welcomes this judicious and much-needed injection of facts, logic and common sense into the law and order debate.

2017 Bali conference: call for papers

The 16th biennial CLANT Bali Conference will be from 24 to 30 June 2017.  Once again, the conference will be organised by Solusi Business Solutions. Contact Solusi to register your interest in attending. 

The fragrant and topical 2017 conference theme is "Justice on the sniff of an oily rag".

The This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is now calling for 30 minute long papers.  Kindly register your interest by 30 November 2016.

UN Committee upholds Marlon Noble's complaint

Marlon Noble, who was detained for over 10 years in Western Australia under the Mentally Impaired Defendants Act 1996 (WA) (MID) has had his complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities susbtantially upheld. The Committee stated that it "considers that the indefinite detention he was subjected to amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment".

The Committee recommended, in terms that may have significant implications for both WA and other jurisdictions, including the Northern Territory, that:

(a)  Concerning the author: the State party is under an obligation:

       (i)            To provide him with an effective remedy, including reimbursement of any legal costs incurred by him, together with compensation.

       (ii)           To revoke immediately the 10 conditions of the author’s release Order replacing them with all necessary support measures for his inclusion in the community.

       (iii)          To publish the Committee’s Views and circulate them widely in accessible formats so that they are available to all sectors of the population.

       (b)           General measures: the State party is under an obligation to take measures to prevent similar violations in the future...  and requires the State party:

       (i)            To adopt the necessary amendments of the MID Act (WA), and all equivalent or related Federal and state legislations, in close consultation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, ensuring its compliance with the principles of the Convention and with the Committee’s Guidelines on article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

       (ii)           To ensure that adequate support and accommodation measures are provided to persons with mental and intellectual disability to enable them to exercise their legal capacity before the courts whenever necessary;

       (iii)          To ensure that appropriate and regular training on the scope of the Convention and its Optional Protocol, including on the exercise of legal capacity by persons with intellectual and mental disabilities, is provided to staff of the Review Board, members of the Law Reform Commission and the Parliament, judicial officers and staff involved in facilitating the work of the judiciary.

Here is the full text of the views adopted by the Committee on 8 September 2016.

"In civilised life, law floats in a sea of ethics"

Justice Lex Lasry of the Supreme Court of Victoria delivered the fourth Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Lecture at Darwin on 23 June 2016.  Central to his wide-ranging and characteristically pungent address were his reflections on US Supreme Court Earl Warren's famous remark "In civilised life, law floats in a sea of ethics".  If you missed Lasry J's lecture, it is now available to read here.


Part IIA detainees to retain DSP entitlements

CLANT welcomes the multi-Party agreement to omit Schedule 20 from the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 (Cth), which would have deprived persons detained for treatment under Part IIA of the Criminal Code (NT) and similar provisions in other jurisdictions, of their entitlement to receive the Disability Support Pension.  CLANT co-signed this Submission ("Submission Number 214") prepared by the Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign to the Senate Committee on Economics Legislation Inquiry into the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016

CLANT welcomes Natasha Fyles, A-G

CLANT welcomes and congratulates the Gunner Government Ministers, and the first ever majority female Cabinet in Australia.  In particular, we look forward to working with:

  • Natasha Fyles, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. 
  • Dale Wakefield, Minister for Territory Families, with responsibility for youth justice, including youth detention
  • Michael Gunner, Minister for Police, Fire & Emergency Services; and 
  • Jeff Collins, Assistant Minister for Police, Fire & Emergency Services. 

CDU Health & Law workshop: call for papers

Charles Darwin University is calling for papers for its Health and Law  Research Workshop and Student Showcase 4 - 5 October 2016.

Get your abstract in by 20 September 2016.  Here are the details.

Congratulations to the new Gunnerment! Now let's Make Justice Work.

CLANT congratulates the Gunner team on its resounding electoral success.  CLANT is a member of the Making Justice Work coalition, which campaigned with six "Election Asks":

  1. Aboriginal Justice Agreement
  2. Specialist and therapeutic courts
  3. Rehabilitation and reintegration
  4. Reduce the number of young people being locked up
  5. Abolish mandatory sentencing
  6. Comprehensive plan to deal with alcohol

Making Justice Work invited candidates to respond.  Here was Territory Labor's commitment:

"Territory Labor broadly supports the Making Justice Work campaign. Labor supports the development of an Aboriginal Justice Agreement with our community. It complements our approach to social policy and social justice of investing in children and young people’s health, education and wellbeing, and investing in long term, place based solutions to complex social issues."

CLANT looks forward to working with the new Northern Territory Government to implement these much-needed reforms.


Prisoner repatriation and visitors transport

NAAJA, CAALAS and CLANT have sent this joint submission to the Northern Territory Commissioner of Corrections urging the restoration of the prisoner repatriation scheme, and the provision of public transport for visitors to the Darwin Correctional Centre.

Alcohol Regulation and Family Violence

CLANT President Russell Goldflam presents this paper on pdfAlcohol Regulation and Family Violence to the AIJA Indigenous Justice Conference on 26 August 2016.  The conference program, with links to papers, is here.

NTWLA Patron's Drinks 31 August 2016

Patrons Drinks Invitation 2016 v2

Middlebrook's appointment to Parole Board ill-advised

CLANT considers that the reported appointment of former Northern Territory Commissioner of Corrections Mr Ken Middlebrook as a community member of the Northern Territory Parole Board was ill-advised.  The composition of the Board is framed by the Parole Act to ensure that its ten appointed community members “reflect as closely possible, the composition of the community at large”.  With his extensive prior involvement in Northern Territory correctional services, including as a statutory member of the Parole Board while he was Commissioner, Mr Middlebrook is in CLANT's view not well suited to be chosen as a person to “reflect… the community at large”.  In addition, his membership of the Board gives rise to a perception that he would be influenced by his extensive prior involvement with, professional interest in and personal knowledge of many of the prisoners whose applications for parole are considered by the Board.  That perception could in turn impair public confidence in the integrity, impartiality and independence of the Board.

CLANT makes no comment about the performance of Ken Middlebrook as Corrections Commissioner, or the circumstances of his departure from that position.

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