Michael Grant CJ

CLANT offers our hearty congratulations to Northern Territory Solicitor-General Michael Grant QC on his appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory.

Riley CJ farewell dinner: save the date

Riley CJ 

Save the Date

The Judges and Master of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory wish to advise that a farewell dinner will be held on 16 April 2016 in the Supreme Court Foyer to mark the retirement of the Honourable Chief Justice Trevor Riley. 

Further details including costs will be provided in due course.  Would you please register your interest in attending by contacting Liz Hochman on 08 8999 6472 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Happy New Patron!

CLANT is delighted to celebrate the New Year by announcing that that our new Patron is the Hon Justice Dean Mildren AC RFD QC.  Justice Mildren, a Life Member of CLANT, has been an indefatigable and unparalleled contributor to the affairs of the Association, not least by way of the extraordinarily varied papers he has presented at the Bali Conference, including:

Justice Mildren is currently an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, and as such, despite his nominal retirement in 2013, he continues to play a leading role in the  administration of criminal justice in the Northern Territory. He is frequently in Darwin, and also travels on circuit to Alice Springs, so CLANT members have plenty of opportunities to catch up with him. 

Justice Mildren replaces the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC, a judge of the High Court of Australia, as our Patron.  CLANT thanks Justice Bell for her support and service to the Association, not only over the handful of years since becoming our Patron, but also over a much longer period, through her strong professional and personal connections with many of our members. Justice Bell has been and remains an exemplar, and an inspiration, to us.


And the winners are... the 2015 Fitzgeralds!

CLANT congratulates the winners, those who were highly commended, and all nominees for "The Fitzgeralds", the 2015 Northern Territory Human Rights Awards, as reported here.

Special thanks to this year's judging panel, Justice Blokland (CLANT Life Member), Sally Sievers (NT Anti-Discrimination Commissioner) and Chips Mackinolty (CLANT Artist in Residence).

For the record, the winners are:

  • Youth Award - Joint winners Shahleena Musk and Stronger Sisters
  • Justice Award - Joint winners Police Caution – Aboriginal Interpreter Service and Larrakia Nation Night Patrol
  • Social Change Award - Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network
  • Diversity Award - Joint Winners: Football Without Borders and Somerville Community Services

CLANT is proud to be a sponsor and supporter of the Fitzgeralds.


Domestic and Family Violence Proposals Issues Paper Submission

On 25 November 2015, White Ribbon Day, CLANT provided this submission in response to the Northern Territory government's Domestic and Family Violence Proposals Issues Paper.

The Fitzgeralds: NT Human Rights Awards 10 December 2015

Invitation Human Rights Awards

NTWLA Xmas Drinks


Paperless arrests are valid, but wait, there's a catch (and a release)

On 11 November 2015, in North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency Limited v Northern Territory [2015] HCA 41, the High Court (French CJ, Kiefel and Bell JJ; Gageler J (diss.); Keane J; Nettle and Gordon JJ) ruled that Division 4AA of Pt VII of the Police Administration Act (NT), which confers on police the power to make "paperless arrests", is valid.  However, the plurality also held that although police are lawfully empowered to arrest persons for infringement notice offences, it does not necessarily follow that such persons may then be lawfully detained for four hours.  As Nettle and Gordon JJ held (at [231]), subject to s 133AB(2)(b) (which provides that an intoxicated person may be detained until they've sobered up):

...any detention of the person for longer than required to render it practicable so to release the person or take the person before a justice or court would be unlawful (even if it were within the four hour period specified in s 133AB(2)(a)) and so would be actionable at the suit of the person for damages for false imprisonment.

A statement to similar effect is found in the judgment of French CJ, Kiefel and Bell JJ at [36].

For further recommended reading, see Martin Clark's handy summary of the judgments and issues on the High Court blog, Opinions on High; and an acutely observed "wider perspective" of the decision by Charles Darwin University academic Ken Parish.

Ten reasons why Daniel's Law is bad for victims

CLANT has opposed "Daniels Law" since it was first proposed by the Northern Territory government in October 2014.  On 12 November 2015, CLANT released pdfthis statement, and has written to the Government, the Opposition and the Independent Members of the Legislative Assembly, urging them not to support this harmful and ineffective Bill.

Too much too young: raise the age of criminal responsibility

This Children's Week, CLANT supports the national call to action initiated by Jesuit Social Services to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12, in accordance both with the standards prescribed by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and current developments in child psychology and neuroscience. 

CLANT has co-signed this letter to all Australian Attorneys-General.  For further details, read this Report published in conjunction with the campaign, "Too Much Too Young".

CLANT AGM and dinner: 6 November 2015

CLANT members are hereby notified that in accordance with Clause 38 of the CLANT Inc. Constitution, the 2015 Annual General Meeting will be held at 5 pm on 6 November 2015 at the offices of the North Australia Aboriginal Justice Agency, 61 Smith Street, Darwin, NT.  The particulars and order of business will be

  1. Attendance and Apologies
  2. Confirmation of minutes of AGM 19 November 2014
  3. Presentation of audited statement of accounts and auditor’s report for 2014/15
  4. Committee report of the Association’s activities for 2014/15
  5. Election of Life Member: Richard Coates
  6. Election of Honorary Life Member: Lyn Wild
  7. Election of 2015-2017 Committee

The audited statement of accounts is available for inspection by members pdfhere.

Persons whose membership has expired may renew their membership by paying $20 at the door. Members may tender apologies in writing to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and members who do not attend may in writing appoint another member as their proxy to vote on their behalf at the meeting, using this Proxy Form.

Nominations for the 2015-2017 Committee are invited, by way of submission to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using this Nomination Form.

The AGM will be followed by a dinner at 7 pm MANOLI'S TAVERN, at which the proposed new Life Member, Richard Coates, will speak.

Members: $40  Non-members: $55  BYO drinks  Non-members/partners welcome

RSVP to either Sophie Parsons (NAAJA) or Catherine Voumard (Maley & Burrows) by 29 October 2015.

Catherine Voumard


Language and the Law II Conference proceedings

The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory has published presentations given at the Language and the Law II conference held 28-30 August 2015, here.

CLANT is proud to be a supprter of this Conference.

New summary justice procedures start 21 September 2015

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Summary Procedure) Act 2015 is expected to commence on 21 Setpember 2015.

Key measures:

  • new Preliminary Briefs of Evidence;
  • a new Directions Hearing which will be overseen by a Magistrate. The purpose of the Directions Hearing is set out in new section 60AH and is 'to identify the issues that are in dispute and the issues that are not in dispute ... [and] the steps required to progress the matter';
  • new, limited defence disclosure requirements, requiring disclosure of alibi evidence, expert evidence, notification of objections to evidence, and identifying issues in dispute at the Directions Hearing;
  • a new Sentence lndication Scheme; and
  • amendments to the Sentencing Act to encourage early guilty pleas where appropriate and encourage compliance with the case management procedures.

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