find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
NT bail law changes cause outcry

NT bail law changes cause outcry


Legal bodies have voiced concerns over proposed changes to the Northern Territory’s bail laws and the negative implications they could have on Indigenous incarceration.

The Australian Bar Association has urged the Northern Territory to reconsider proposed bail legislation to remove the presumption in favour of bail for repeat property offenders, saying it will only further exacerbate Australia’s disgraceful Indigenous incarceration rates.

"This proposed legislation will disproportionately target young Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, where the rate of indigenous people in prison is close to 90 per cent," ABA president Patrick O’Sullivan QC said.

"Indigenous incarceration is a national crisis and we need to be looking at solutions that divert Indigenous people from the criminal justice system, not the other way around."

The president of the Law Society Northern Territory, Tass Liveris, also expressed concern about the proposed changes to bail laws.

"Everyone is sick and tired of what communities see as the revolving door of jail. We have been on this path for some time and the community is no safer for it. These proposed changes are another step in the wrong direction," Mr Liveris said.

"This does not respond to community concerns because it will not fix the problem – it will only make it worse."

Mr Liveris said community safety is a primary concern, but that a lack of tangible solutions makes the courts' role difficult.

"Bail is never an easy decision," he said.

"It’s not easy to balance the costs and the risks with the evidence of what works and the limited programs available. For the legislators to put the evidence of what works to one side shows that they are lost on real solutions to the problem."

Both Mr O’Sullivan and Mr Liveris pointed to the fact that diversion is the best solution.

"Early intervention, prevention and diversion programs used in the ACT have seen rates of young people in detention decrease by 35 per cent and arrests of young people down by 20 per cent over two years," Mr O’Sullivan said.

Meanwhile, Mr Liveris referred to the Australian Institute of Criminology research that shows young people diverted from the court system are less likely to have further involvement in the criminal justice system.

Mr Liveris welcomed the NT Justice Targets report, which is being undertaken into the justice system and how the targets can be met.

However, he said the Society is concerned that the proposed changes to bail legislation have been made prior to that report being finalised.

"We would like to see these issues tackled in a whole of government way with real targets and real strategies."

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

NT bail law changes cause outcry
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Young humanitarian lawyer California-bound
A young Australian lawyer will be travelling to the US next year for a prestigious nine-month study ...
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...