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CLANT calls for greater judicial oversight

CLANT will ask the Northern Territory Attorney-General to consider setting up an independent body to oversee complaints against judges.

“Unfortunately it seems that it got to a point where the only way to proceed was formal complaints, which were advanced, investigated and determined,” CLANT President Marty Aust told the ABC.  “It does away with this sort of unnecessary speculation [and] media hype that really seems to be undermining an appropriate process of investigation.”

Mr Aust also said, “The reality is that all persons that participate in the criminal justice system are vulnerable to direct and vicarious trauma by the very nature of their involvement. OH&S issues abound on multiple levels. Appropriate support in the form of counselling or similar therapeutic options need to be made available to assist both judicial officers and practitioners in dealing with the impact of their day to day work and the toll it takes upon them. Inappropriate conduct cannot be condoned and the impact that judicial bullying can have on a young and inexperienced practitioner can be career ending. As a profession we need to recognise the difficulties that our work entails and acknowledge that we must support one another across the board. Demonising individuals whether in the media or a court room cannot be a productive solution. The collegiality of the legal profession is one of its greatest attributes and a proud tradition we all enjoy as officers of the Court.”