Attorney-General Launches Aboriginal Justice Unit

Attorney-General Launches Aboriginal Justice Unit

Northern Territory Attorney-General Natasha Fyles

Launch Of The Territory’s First Aboriginal Justice Unit

Victor P Taffa

Attorney-General Natasha Fyles today launched a new Aboriginal Justice Unit within the Department of Attorney-General and Justice.

New Aboriginal Justice unit will be crucial to improving justice outcomes in the Northern Territory (NT) and will lead the delivery of an Aboriginal Justice Agreement.

Attorney-General Fyles said the Gunner Territory Government was elected to restore trust, create jobs, invest in children and build safer, fairer and stronger communities right across the Territory.

“To deliver on those commitments, we must listen to Aboriginal Territorians and their experiences with the justice system.” Attorney-General Fyles said. 

“We know that the Territory has unacceptably high rates of Indigenous incarceration and that re-offending rates are too high.”

“Acknowledging that almost 85% of the NT’s prison population identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is fundamental to designing procedures and programs that align with world’s best practice.” Attorney-General Fyles said.

“In particular, this means providing meaningful education and employment opportunities for all prisoners so that we end the revolving door of crime and incarceration and getting people on the right path.”

Attorney-General Fyles said the Territory’s Aboriginal Justice Agreement will be built from the ground up in accordance with the Government’s agenda of restoring trust by returning decision-making to local communities.

“Today’s launch of the Aboriginal Justice Unit meets our election commitment to return local decision making control to Indigenous Territorians.” Attorney-General Fyles said.

“Aboriginal Justice Unit has already begun discussions about the Aboriginal Justice Agreement with key Aboriginal peak bodies in the Territory.”

Aboriginal Justice Agreement will:

  • Set out how the Government and Aboriginal people will work together to make justice work in the NT;
  • Build trust and engagement on justice issues in the NT;
  • Focus on practical solutions to reduce the levels of Indigenous incarceration;
  • Deliver strategies for the implementation of more local decision-making in the justice system.

6 member team of the Aboriginal Justice Unit will consult across the Northern Territory over the next 12 months listening to the issues, solutions and ideas.

“Following today’s launch, the Aboriginal Justice Unit will begin widespread consultations across the Territories regions, communities and remote areas.” Attorney-General Fyles said.  

“Consultations are being delivered in a culturally appropriate manner through interpreters and using cultural brokers.”

“This process will allow several opportunities for Territorians to provide input in various forums into the development of the Aboriginal Justice Agreement. It’s important to get this right to ensure Territorians get the outcomes they need for a better justice system.” Attorney-General Fyles said.