Welcome to the Criminal Lawyers Association of the NT

Chips Mackinolty 2021*

I Can’t Believe it’s Not Bali: 

Lockdowns and Lockups

CLANT is excited to announce that our 18th Biennial Bali Conference will be held in Darwin, commencing with a cocktail party on the evening of Tuesday 10 August and culminating in our Gala dinner on Friday 13 August 2021.

The 2021 CLANT conference coincides with both a global pandemic that has seen an immediate reimagining around the practice and procedures of criminal law both home and abroad; and importantly it also coincides with the 30th Anniversary of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. It took about30 days for the pandemic to create real change in the processes surrounding the manner we practice criminal law, yet in 30 years we have seen little change or meaningful improvement in access to justice for First Nations people. This conference looks to focus on what we can do to improve the criminal justice system, starting by looking in our own backyard.

We are delighted to confirm a programme containing a number of presenters and panellists including:

·         Phillip Boulten SC, Forbes Chambers, NSW

·         Acting Justice Lex Lasry QC,  Supreme Court of Victoria

·         Justice Jenny Blokland, Supreme Court of the Northern Territory

·         Lloyd Babb SC, Director of Public Prosecutions NSW

·         David Edwardson QC, Bar Chambers, SA

·         Stephen Lawrence, Black Chambers, NSW

·         Professor Dr Thalia Anthony, University of Technology Sydney

·         Nicole Spicer, Acting Managing Principal Solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office

·         Beth Wild, Managing Solicitor of the Criminal Section, NAAJA

·         Stephen Karpeles, Custody Notification Scheme Manager, NAAJA

·         Trevor Moses, William Forster Chambers, NT

·         Travis Jackson, Sir Owen Dixon Chambers, NSW

·         Steven Ledek, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, NT

·         Ian Rowbottam, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, NT

·         Andreea Lachsz and Monique Hurley, VALS and HRLC respectively

·         Lisa Parker, University of South Australia

·         Ben Grimes of ARDS Aboriginal Corporation

·         Gabriel Chipki, Victorian Legal Aid

·         Bali Players, play reading performance, written and directed by Rex Wild QC

We have papers from a variety of presenters from most of our nation’s criminal jurisdictions. Papers will cover issues including:

·         Public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in prisons

·         State intervention on the rights of the citizen

·         Policing homelessness in the NT

·         Developing laws around judge alone trials

·         Linguistics v Law: reconciling divergent approaches to section 85 of the National Uniform Evidence Act

Our conference has never been held in Darwin before and we look forward to welcoming practitioners, judicial officers and key stakeholders to our home.

These conference dates coincide with the annual Darwin Festival and we anticipate many opportunities for learning as well as leisure and recreation.

Please forward this email to colleagues, contacts and networks who may be interested in attending.

Register here. If you have any further questions or issues please contact Dee Berkely via Dee@solusibs.com or 0437 710 090

* I’ve been doing images for CLANT since 1997, and the Dingo has always been a feature as a symbol of “defending the unrepresented accused”. This time a bit different–all but one of their previous conferences have been held in Bali. For those, I have always used the Frangipani, the floral emblem of Bali. Coincidentally, last year, the city of Darwin “rediscovered” after 54 years its floral emblem was Brachychiton Megaphyllus, or the Red Kurrajong. Thus, a different flower for this year’s conference!  (Chips Mackinolty)

Copyright Chips Mackinolty 2020


The Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory (CLANT) has some 150 members in the NT. Through our biennial conference – “the Bali Conference” – we have welcomed many hundreds more criminal lawyers from every jurisdiction in Australia to join us.  One of the key features of this website is CLANT’s archive of papers, presentations and play-readings given at our biennial conferences over the years.

For over 30 years, CLANT has been an effective and powerful voice for the improvement of the criminal justice system in the Northern Territory, representing both defence lawyers and prosecutors, practitioners from the public sector, the private profession and the independent bar.

In a jurisdiction where offending rates, incarceration rates and recidivism rates are higher, and growing faster, than anywhere else in Australia, there are enormous challenges for the criminal justice system.

The Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory is strongly committed to addressing these problems. Among our Objects and Purposes are:

  • to promote and advance the administration of the criminal justice system and development and improvement of criminal law throughout the Northern Territory
  •  to actively contribute in public debates in issues relating to the criminal justice system
  • to promote and encourage the protection of human rights and compliance with international human rights principles in the Northern Territory
  • to promote the professional discourse, development and social interaction amongst the profession

In pursuit of these Objects, CLANT is proud to promote and support a range of campaigns, programs and causes.


Membership is open to any person who either contributes to the field of criminal law or criminal jurisprudence, or who practices criminal law, in the Northern Territory of Australia.  Law students are eligible to be Associate Members. If you wish to become a member of CLANT and are eligible for membership, write to the CLANT Treasurer, and pay the biennial membership fee, which is currently $20.  In addition, all persons who are eligible for membership and attend the biennial CLANT conference, thereby become members.


If you are interested in joining the CLANT Committee, please let us know.

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