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Legal advisory service for the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory



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Contact: T: +61 2 6277 7300 E: agmedia@ag.gov.au

SENATOR THE HON GEORGE BRANDIS QC ATTORNEY-GENERAL LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SENATE

MEDIA RELEASE

LEGAL ADVISORY SERVICE FOR THE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE PROTECTION AND DETENTION OF CHILDREN IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

Today I am announcing a free legal advisory service for people engaging with the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

Delivered by the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA), the Children in Care and Youth Detention Advice Service will receive $1.1 million from the Australian Government this financial year.

NAAJA is the largest legal provider in the Northern Territory and has a strong track record in providing culturally appropriate services.

This legal advisory service will provide:

 face-to-face and telephone advice for people seeking to engage with the Royal Commission;

 help in accessing legal financial assistance for people appearing as witnesses before the Royal Commission or attending interviews with the Royal Commission;

 referrals to solicitors for people needing ongoing legal representation; and

 community outreach and liaison services, including helping people understand their legal rights and responsibilities when engaging with the Royal Commission.

The Australian Government is also providing financial assistance for legal representation of people:

 attending interviews with the Royal Commission; and

 appearing as witnesses before the Royal Commission when formal hearings commence later this year.

The Royal Commission was established in July 2016 to enable a swift inquiry into the treatment of children in detention facilities administered by the Government of the Northern Territory.

The funding announced today is in addition to the $350 million announced in 2015 for Indigenous legal assistance services. The Government has also struck a landmark five-year National Partnership Agreement to deliver over $1.3 billion for legal aid commissions and community legal centres.

More information on NAAJA is available at naaja.org.au or by calling 08 8982 5110 and

More information on legal financial assistance arrangements is available at: ag.gov.au

10 October 2016