"The Fitzgeralds": 2015 nominations open

Nominations for the second NT Human Rights Awards ("The Fitzgeralds") close at 4:00 pm on Friday 23 October 2015.  CLANT is proud to support the Fitzgeralds, which will be presented on 10 December 2015, featuring guest speaker The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG.

For more information, including the Nomination Form, go here.

Cox on "Surviving and Succeeding in an Adversarial World"

The NT Women Lawyers Association invites you to a free CPD by Suzan Cox QC on 'Surviving and Succeeding in an Adversarial World’, 5.30 pm Tuesday 8 September 2015, DPP Boardroom, Alice Springs.

RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gillian Triggs to deliver 2015 Austin Asche Oration

CLANT members are invited to attend the fifth Austin Asche Oration, on:

The Expansion of Executive Discretion: Implications for the NT

The Oration will be delivered by Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, at 5 pm on Thursday 3rd September 2015, at Parliament House, Darwin.  RSVP is essential to gain entry.


CLANT gongs Hunyor

From time to time, CLANT confers "The Gong" on one of its members. Past recipients have been Suzan Cox QC, Rex Wild QC, Jon Tippett QC and Russell Goldflam.  At the 2015 CLANT conference, The Gong was awarded to Jonathon Hunyor, Principal Legal Officer, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency.

The Gong comprises a framed copy of the striking passage with which Deane J comemnced his leading judgment in Donaldson v Broomby (1982) 60 FLR 124, signed by the author:

Arrest is the deprivation of freedom.  The ultimate instrument of arrest is force. The customary companions of arrest are ignominy and fear.  A police practice of arbitrary arrest is a hallmark of tyranny.

Jonathon Hunyor's contribution to criminal law in the Northern Territory has been outstanding, particularly as a strategic litigator, both in court and behind the scenes, involving issues including, but not limited to:

  • Mandatory sentencing (including: The Queen v Duncan [2015] NTCCA 2 (junior to Georgiou SC); Dhamarrandji v Curtis [2014] NTSC 39; Orsto v Grotherr [2015] NTSC 18; Leo v The Queen [2014] NTCCA 8 (junior to Wyvill SC))
  • Part IIA Criminal Code Supervision Orders
  • Civil detention of serious sex offenders (Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v EE [2014] NTCA 1 (junior to Wild QC))
  • Challenge to the validity of the Alcohol Protection Orders Act 2013 (NT)  (including Nummar v Pennuto & Ors [2014] NTSC 34 (instructing Wyvill SC))
  • Challenge to the validity of the “Paperless arrests” provisions of the Police Administration Act (NT)

He has also published widely including:

Furthermore, he has shown outstanding leadership as a manager and advocate under exceptionally difficult circumstances as Principal Legal Officer of NAAJA.













NT Women Lawyers Patrons Drinks 10 July 2015

NTWLA Invite

Justice Law Reform Update

In May/June 2015, 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 this presentation (reproduced by permission of DoA-G&J).

Amnesty International Report on Indigenous Youth Incarceration

Amnesty International has published A Brighter Tomorrow: Keeping Indigenous Kids in the Community and out of Detention in Australia (Summary Report).  Here is the Full Report.  

Key recommendations include the setting of setting of justice targets to Close the Gap, the abolition of mandatory sentencing for children, and a commitment to justice reinvestment.

The Report finds that "youth detention conditions in the Northern Territory do not appear to comply with [the] international human rights standards" set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Justice Legislation Amendment (Summary Procedure) Bill 2015

CLANT has lodged this submission in response to the Justice Legislation Amendment (Summary Procedure) Bill 2015 (NT), details of which are set out in this powerpoint presentation prepared by and published with permission of the Northern Territory Department of Justice and the Attorney-General.

New Youth Detention Crackdown Not the Answer

CLANT endorses this statement issued on 2 June 2015 by the Making Justice Work coalition, calling on the Northern Territory Government to urgently:

  1. establish purpose-built detention facilities in Darwin and Alice Springs for the Northern Territory’s most vulnerable children and young people, or, alternatively, upgrade the former Don Dale youth detention centre to an acceptable contemporary standard;
  2. publicly release the previous Children’s Commissioner’s independent investigation into youth detention; and
  3. establish an Independent Custodial Inspector (such as exists in Western Australia) who has unfettered access to youth detention centres to ensure national and international standards are being complied with.


The national Change the Record campaign aims to reduce the unacceptably high rates of violent victimisation and incarceration of Indigenous people.  

Visit their spiffy website to see the twelve smart solutions they are proposing.

CLANT: step up and get involved!

CLANT seeks expressions of interest from members to serve on our Committee.  The Committee currently meets monthly.  Besides being responsible for organising our biennial conference, the Committee deals with a broad range of policy and law reform issues, responds to requests for financial assistance to support a variety of causes and cases, is responsible for compliance by the Association with its statutory obligations, and organises occasional social activities.

CLANT's committee members and office bearers are elected for a two year term by the members at a biennial General Meeting, but casual vacancies arise on the Committee from time to time, and the Committee is empowered under our Constitution to appoint replacements.  Recently, following the resignations of Madeleine Rowley and James Tierney from the Committee, we appointed Beth Morrisroe (CAALAS) and Isabella Maxwell-Williams (ODPP) as Committee members.

Fortunately, we currently have a full complement of hard-working and enthusiastic Committee members, from both sides of the bar table, and all sectors of the profession.

Nevertheless, we expect that vacancies will continue to arise, and the Committee invites members who would be willing to join the Committee to register your interest with us by contacting a Committee member.

Vale Pat Loftus


Patrick Loftus, one of the founders of CLANT, has died in Hong Kong, aged 70.  Pat practiced in Darwin from the 1970s, and successively headed the Darwin office of the Crown Solicitor for the Northern Territory (now ODPP) and the Australian Legal Aid Office (now NTLAC), before going on to establish the firm Loftus and Cameron. He won the sobriquet “Loopholes” (or “Loopy”) for his peculiar knack of identifying legal lacunae to the benefit of his clients, and gained the respect of his colleagues as a master of the no case submission.  He served as an office-bearer of the Northern Territory Law Society on several occasions, and then in 1986 joined Colin McDonald QC and Ray Minahan as the joint founders and self-appointed inaugural interim committee of the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory.  After an unsuccessful tilt at politics, when he failed in a bid to enter the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, in 1988 he joined the Darwin bar, and went on, in 1997, to found Edmund Barton Chambers. 

By then he had already commenced to practice in the jurisdiction which he eventually made his home, Hong Kong, where in 1996 he had conducted the prosecution of the son of a police officer in a high-profile murder trial.  For some years, he simultaneously practiced and maintained homes in Darwin, Adelaide and Hong Kong, but eventually he relinquished his Australian clients and practiced exclusively in Hong Kong.  

As Hong Kong Director of Public Prosecutions Keith Yeung SC has commented:

Those of us who knew Pat would not forget that he was a conscientious but fair counsel who treated life seriously but at the same time with a good sense of humour… he was a gentleman to all around him … commanding the respect which he so rightly deserved.

We at CLANT send our condolences to Pat’s wife Peggy Lo, herself a Hong Kong prosecutor, and his daughters Katherine, Allyson and Susan.

Prison Songs

CLANT is proud to support the Darwin Festival multimedia live concert production of Prison Songs, which offers a rare glimpse into the lives of prison inmates shared through song.  Read more about Prison Songs and get your tickets here.



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