The Fitzgeralds: 2014 NT Human Rights Awards

CLANT is proud to be a sponsor of the Fitzgeralds, the inaugural Northern Territory Human Rights Awards, named after Mr Tony Fitzgerald, CLANT stalwart and NT Anti-Discrimination Commissioner from 2002 to 2009.

We are starting off small, but hope with your involvement to grow the celebration and recognition of the work of those who on a daily basis  promote, encourage and advocate for Human Rights in the Northern Territory.

The Awards night will be celebrated on United Nations Day for Human Rights – 10 December 2014 – at a function at the Supreme Court, Darwin. 

We are now asking that you consider nominating colleagues work mates or friends for an Award.

There will be four awards

  • The Fitzgerald Youth Award
  • The Fitzgerald Justice Award
  • The Fitzgerald Change Award
  • The Fitzgerald Diversity Award

The nomination form which sets out briefly the broad scope of each award can be found at Fitzgeralds nomination form. Completed forms can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to  Human Rights Awards, LMB 22 GPO, Darwin NT 0801

Nominations are open now and close on 30 October 2014. The Judging panel will include Hon. Justice Jenny Blokland and  NT Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sally Sievers.

International Crim Law Conf, MCG, Oct 2014

crimlaw-header

The 14th International Criminal Law Conference will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from 8-12 October 2014.  The conference features a strong program of speakers who will address a broad range of topical issues.  Register here.

Peer Panel demonstration

Janet Truong, a member of the Chief Minister’s Round Table of Young Territorians, is running Peer Panel demonstrations with a view to establishing this restorative justice model for young offenders in the NT. The Peer Panel harnesses positive peer pressure to help participants understand their wrongdoings and pay back the community. It has been adopted in countries including the United States (where it is also known as "Teen Court"), Canada and England.

The next demonstration of the Peer Panel will be on Friday, 12 September 2014 at Darwin City Library - Civic Centre Function Room from 11:00am to 12:00pm. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday 10 September 2014.

Anti-Racial Vilification laws for the NT?

CLANT has supported the opposition to proposals (now apparently abandoned) to radically restrict the protection afforded to victims of racial vilification under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth).  In the context of this debate, on 27 August 2014 a private members Bill was introduced in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act 1993 (NT) by inserting provisions similar to the existing Commonwealth anti-racial vilification measures.

The Bill is set to be debated in October 2014, and we will note the position taken by Members on this significant and sensitive issue with interest.

Read the Bill and second reading speech here

Criminal law reform issues update: August 2014

In August 2014, 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), adapted here to cover only criminal law reform issues.

We have a venue...

Prama

CLANT is delighted to announce that the 15th biennial Bali Conference, on the theme "Curing Injustice", will be held at the Prama Sanur Beach Hotel, commencing with a Cocktail Party on Saturday 20 June 2015 and concluding with a Gala Dinner on Friday 26 June 2015.  Solusi Business Solutions, our conference organisers, are holding confirmed accommodation with great rates for all room categories. Registration and hotel bookings have commenced: contact Solusi.

Frank Vincent to give Austin Asche Oration

  CDU logo  AAL logo

Professor Simon Maddocks
Vice-Chancellor, Charles Darwin University

cordially invites

Members of the Criminal Law  Association of the Northern Territory (CLANT)

to attend the

2014 Austin Asche Oration in Law and Governance

by The Honourable Frank Vincent AO QC

Law and Order in a Rapidly Changing Society

Thursday 4 September 2014, 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Dining Room & Nitmiluk Lounge

Parliament House

Mitchell Street, Darwin

Click here for location map

Please RSVP by Friday 29 August 2014

E. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.         T. 08 8946 6554

RSVP is essential to gain entry to Parliament House

Please bring this invitation with you to assist with entry
Light refreshments will be served at 5:30pm

Dress code: Territory Informal

Gentlemen: Neat casual trousers, open neck shirt
Ladies: Neat casual

Peter Maley SM

In an article submitted to the Law Society Northern Territory journal Balance, CLANT President Russell Goldflam has supported the call for an inquiry into the conduct of Peter Maley SM.  Mr Goldflam said:

In order to uphold confidence in the administration of justice, enhance respect for the institution of the judiciary and protect the reputation of judicial officers, three basic principles are said to govern the conduct of judicial officers: impartiality, judicial independence and integrity. For a judicial officer to publicly continue an association with a political party is inconsistent with the principle of both impartiality and judicial independence. Judicial independence is constitutionally fundamental, but also peculiarly fragile.

Throughout this imbroglio, no-one has suggested that Mr Maley has not been true to his oath of office. However, from time to time judicial officers are required to rule on issues which go the heart of political affairs, which is why the wall separating judicial office from political involvement must be rigorously maintained: if judges or magistrates remain publicly associated or involved with a political party, there is a real risk that they will not be seen to exercise their judicial functions “without fear or favour”.

Exacting standards of fitness and propriety to practice law in the Northern Territory are required by the Legal Profession Act 2006 (NT) as construed and applied by the Supreme Court.  It is trite to observe that the standards expected of judicial officers are even more stringent. Regrettably, Mr Maley, whether in a moment of injudicious mischievousness or unguarded candour, has publicly reasserted his ties to a political party.  “100% Darwin” was, I thought, terrific theatre, but not so good for maintaining confidence in the administration of justice.

Read the complete article here.

Munch at Manoli's with CLANT: 7 August 2014

CLANT members are invited to join the Committee for dinner at Manoli's in Smith St, Darwin on Thursday 7 August at 7.30 pm.  Numbers are limited, so RSVP by COB Tuesday 5 August to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to reserve your seat at our table.

Speaking of the CLANT Committee, we have a couple of new members:  we are delighted to welcome Alan Woodcock and Catherine Voumard to fill the vacancies left by departing members Shahleena Musk and Chris Edwards.

Bottoms up on the balcony with Blokkers (again)!

The NT Women Lawyers Association invites you to Patron's Drinks 2014 from 5:00 - 6:30pm Friday 8th August, hosted by Her Honour Justice Blokland

Guest Speaker Felicity Gerry QC, and Special Guest Amy Challans President Australian Women Lawyers Association

Judges Balcony, Level 6 Supreme Court

Partners and male members of the legal profession welcome

RSVP by 5 August to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bali Conference: 20 to 26 June 2015

CLANT is delighted to announce tha the 15th biennial Bali Conference, on the theme "Curing Injustice" will be held at the Prama Sanur Beach Hotel, commencing with a Cocktail Party on Saturday 20 June 2015 and concluding with a Gala Dinner on Friday 26 June 2015.  Solusi Business Solutions, our conference organisers are holding confirmed accommodation with great rates for all room categories. Registration and hotel bookings is open: contact Solusi

Presumption against (some) joint trials reversed

The Criminal Code Amendment (Presumption for Joint Trials Act) 2014 commences on 1 July 2014.  The intended effect of the Act is explained in this letter, which includes links to the Act, the Explanatory Memorandum and the Second Reading Speech.

Correctional Services Bill: further corrections required

The Northern Territory Commissioner of Correctional Services has invited  stakeholders to comment on this draft of the Correctional Services Bill 2014 (NT).  CLANT has contributed this submission. Although CLANT acknowledges that the draft is a significant improvement on earlier versions of the legislation, in CLANT's view the Bill in its current form still fails to adequately protect the basic rights of prisoners, and inadequately regulates the exercise of powers by correctional services officers. 

The North Australia Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) and the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (CAALAS) have lodged this joint submission, raising similar concerns and addressing the provisons of the Bill in greater detail.

In addition, the Human Rights Law Centre has made this submission, highlighting aspects of the Bill which are, it is argued, incompatible with Australia's human rights obligations.

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