Criminal Law

Civil Laws

Civil Law

Civil laws are used to resolve legal disputes between two or more parties. A party in a civil case could be a person, an organisation or company or even a government department. Civil laws are usually used to solve disputes where one party thinks someone else has caused them damage or interfered with their rights in some way. Parties who ‘lose’ a civil case are not punished like they are in a criminal case, but they may have to pay compensation or follow other court orders to fix the problem they caused. Sometimes the losing side will have to pay the legal costs for the other party. Examples of civil laws are: different types of compensation, discrimination, family law, complaints against police or other government organisations, adult guardianship and child protection.


NAAJA Civil Law solicitors provide advice on any area of civil law and representation in areas such as:

  • Problems with government services and departments (e.g. Housing, Centrelink, police and prison officers,)
  • Child protection
  • Adult guardianship
  • Consumer problems (credit, debt, motor vehicle sales and repairs)
  • Health care complaints
  • Discrimination and human rights
  • Coronial inquests • Employment
  • Compensation claims including against police (eg false imprisonment) and other government departments, and also Motor Accident and Victims of Crime Compensation
  • Forfeiture or seizure of property – where property was used to take liquor, kava or drugs into a restricted area or in the commission of a crime.


Civil Clinics

NAAJA holds civil advice clinics in Darwin and Katherine and our solicitors travel regularly to the following communities to provide advice:

  • From Darwin – Milikapiti, Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu), Maningrida, Ramingining, Milingimbi, Nhulunbuy, Galiwinku, Gapuwiak, Groote Eylandt, Gunbalunya, Wadeye and Borroloola;
  • From Katherine – Barunga, Ngukurr, Timber Creek, Kalkarindji, Lajamanu, Yarralin, Bulla, Beswick, Bulman, Urapunga and Numbulwar