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The latest issue of the Northern Territory Law Journal (Volume 2 Part 6) contains the following material:

INTRODUCTION

  • Papers from the CLANT 14th Bienniel Conference The Hon Chief Justice Trevor Riley

Articles

Lawyers as victims The Hon Dean Mildren AM RFD QC

For centuries, if not millennia, lawyers have been victimised both as a class and as individuals, for nothing more than being lawyers. The purpose of this article is to discover why this is so, and what, if anything, can be done about it.

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Representing minority victims in genocide trials Lyma Nguyen

In 2010, the Co-Investigating Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) charged four senior leaders of the former Khmer Rouge regime with genocide against two minority groups, the Cham and the ethnic Vietnamese. This article examines the role of minority victims of mass crimes in a genocide trial, using the specific case study of a group of ethnic Vietnamese survivors who joined as civil parties before the internationalised criminal proceedings at the ECCC. From the personal perspective of an international pro bono civil party lawyer who has been involved with victim representation at the ECCC for six years, this article highlights the challenges involved with including minority narratives into the larger context of a mass atrocity trial. The description of the participation process for these civil parties also highlights how victim participation in a criminal trial can shed light on larger human rights issues affecting a minority group. In the present case, a number of ethnic Vietnamese civil parties have sought access to, or recognition of, Cambodian nationality through a request for “collective and moral reparations” under the Court’s Internal Rules.

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Problems with civil commitment of sex offenders Olav Nielssen

Schemes to detain sex offenders after the expiry of their sentences have been enacted in most States of Australia, and are now also in force in the Northern Territory. This article will look at the background to this form of legislation, briefly review the laws that exist around Australia and describe the New South Wales experience. This article will then look at some definitions of types of sexual offenders, examine problems with the so-called treatment of sex offenders, define risk and examine shortcomings of risk assessment in general. The article will conclude with some suggestions for a rational approach to the use of what are very expensive and potentially unjust preventative detention schemes.

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Invisible clients: People with cognitive impairments in the Northern Territory Court of Summary JurisdictionMadeleine Rowley

Every Monday morning Aboriginal Legal Aid lawyers in Alice Springs descend into the cells beneath the courts to take instructions from prospective clients who have been locked up overnight and over the weekend. More often than not, the first time lawyers meet clients is in the cells. It can be a tense experience. The volume of matters is daunting and lawyers are aware of the time constraints. It is not unusual to speak to a client about the charges he or she is facing only to be met with stony cold silence. Communication is very often difficult. More difficult still can be determining the source of the communication barrier. Language, hearing, shyness, embarrassment, cultural reticence, obstancies, substance withdrawal, illness or any combination of these factors can all contribute. Frequently communication is hampered by mental health issues, a cognitive impairment, or both. The lawyer’s job is to find a way to get instructions, to work out which issue or issues, if any, are contributing to the communication barrier, and to decide what it all means for the client’s case. In a court cell in Alice Springs, this can be very challenging.

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For the pdf version of the table of contents, click here: WAU – NTLJ Vol 2 Pt 6 Contents.

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