Winners of the 2017 NT Human Rights Awards announced…
Legal and Indigenous connections to work on together…
An alliance of the Central and Northern Land Councils, Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency and Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory.
Good News Stories – So far in 2017
CLE Good New Stories – April/May
The CLE Team had a few busy months in the lead up to the dry season. In the March Lajamanu trip, the CLE team facilitated a successful meeting between the Kurdiji Law & Justice group and Magistrate Sue Oliver. “Community Law Stories”, the CLE Short Film project, is well and truly in production. The CLE team, with the assistance of a NT Law Society Public Purposes Trust grant, has developed an exciting cross-cultural resource, comprising a cultural handbook and film series focused on the community of Gunbalanya, titled “Karriyolyolme Konda Kunred – Talking About this Country Gunbalanya.
More on these stories here
NAAJA launch Gunbalanya Community Cultural DVD
There was excitement in community as NAAJA rolled out the red carpet and launched the Gunbalanya Community Cultural DVD and Handbook at the school as part of the West Arnhem College culture week.
Approximately 30 VIPS attended special screening of the main film – Karriyolyolme Konda Kunred – part of NAAJA’s Cross Cultural resource developed in collaboration with Gunbalanya’s traditional owners and community leaders. Even the Hon Warren Snowden MP dropped by and attended the launch.
The overwhelming feedback from the community has been a really positive one – with the potential to screen the film as part of Injalak’s launch of their new interactive space on 10 June 2015.
NAAJA and NTCOSS are currently conducting a justice reinvestment (JR) project in Katherine through funding provided by the NT Law Society.
JR is a strategy seen as having real potential to contain escalating rates of Aboriginal incarceration, particularly through its focus on building local community capacity to tackle underlying causes of offending.
The project is at this stage consulting with the community of Katherine to identify its level of interest in introduction of JR initiatives specifically designed to tackle offending by young Indigenous people and what those initiatives might look like.
JR initiatives might focus (for example) on substance abuse, engagement with school, family support and/or reform of the criminal justice system.
For more information please contact:
Fiona Allison, Senior Research Officer, The Cairns Institute, and Faculty of Business, Law and Creative Arts, James Cook University
NAAJA thrilled to attend the launch of the Plain English Language Dictionary for Criminal Law
The ground breaking project, a four year collaboration between NAAJA, AIS and ARDS, is most likely an Australian first to explain frequently used criminal law concepts and terms. The dictionary provides a resource for judicial officers, Aboriginal interpreters and legal professionals working with speakers of Aboriginal languages. The collaborators received funding from the NT Law Society Public Purposes Trust.
The dictionary can be accessed here
Money spent on jailing Indigenous Australians should be funnelled instead into community programs to stop them offending in the first place, a leading academic has said.
Australian National University professor Tom Calma made his call after a report showed that Indigenous offenders with mental illness were over-represented in the New South Wales prison system.
NAAJA’s Lauren Walker was interviewed on the ABC’s PM program on Friday 2 October 2015 in relation to the NT government diverting Commonwealth remote housing funding to emergency repairs and housing following the cyclone earlier this year.
Lauren talks about overcrowding, the shortage of housing and raises the question of why insurance didn’t pay for repairs.
NAAJA in the media in response to the release of the NT Children’s Commissioner report into Don Dale Riots:
Lawyers and youth workers slam ‘brutal’ treatment inside NT youth detention centre – http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4314961.htm
Teenage detainees hooded, gassed in Northern Territory adult prison – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-17/juveniles-hooded-in-nt-by-corrections-staff/6785344
NT’s shocking ‘justice’: Teenagers hooded and gassed in detention – http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/38050/
A respected Aboriginal man from central Australia died in Darwin’s police cells two weeks ago. Few facts are known: he was taken into custody for minor alcohol-related offences, he was detained under new “paperless arrest” police powers, he was found dead in his cell about three hours later.
More on this story here
The Central Desert Regional Council has congratulated the Commonwealth Government for supporting the expansion of the Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Program. Under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, Yuendumu Mediation & Justice Program will receive an additional $100,000 in 2015/16 to expand their service to the nearby communities of Willowra and Ti Tree.
Like many countries, Australia calls the governmental departments in charge of its prisons “Corrective” or “Correctional” services. Also like other countries, this framing of their purpose, the idea of prison being a place where men and women are reformed (“corrected”) for a successful reintroduction into society, is a bad joke everyone is in on. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than half of the people in prison have been imprisoned before. Clearly it’s not working.