Opening of the Northern Territory Legal Year 2020
Speech delivered by Pauline Wright, President of the Law Council of Australia at the Northern Territory Opening of the Legal Year, Darwin, 6 February 2020.
"When I was given the honour of leading the Law Council of Australia this year, I said that a key priority would be to push the issues of regional Australia directly onto centre stage.
Because too often they are overlooked. Yet regional communities are where some of our most challenging legal issues lie.
These challenges – like access to affordable justice and ballooning incarceration rates – are particularly relevant here in the Territory.
The glaring over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our jails is one of the biggest social injustices in Australia. It should, frankly, be a source of shame for us all. In the Northern Territory, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make up 84 per cent of the adult prison population."
Read full speech below.