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.

"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).

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