Leanne Liddle delivers Australian Disputes Centre annual NT Supreme Court address

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Alternative Dispute Resolution can help lift Aboriginal people out of disadvantage.

Hear Leanne Liddle, Director of the Aboriginal Justice Unit, deliver this year’s NT Supreme Court address for the Australian Disputes Centre.

In last year’s inaugural address, Chief Justice Michael Grant spoke about the interaction between the Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). This year Leanne refutes claims that ADR is a second-rate system of backyard justice and discusses the need to use ADR in all its forms to improve the levels of disadvantage for Aboriginal people.

‘The Territory has failed to address the reality for Aboriginal Territorians and the justice system’, says Leanne.

‘Aboriginal people make up 75 per cent of all court proceedings and almost 84 per cent of the adult prison population’.

Tackling the high levels of disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, particularly in the justice system, remains an ongoing challenge.

ADR can play a key role in addressing these issues, but it requires practitioners to take a steady and sensible path away from romanticised generic views and transcending the many invalid assumptions and arguments that have complicated the justice space for decades.

Leanne identifies some of these barriers to present a model that is aligned with two of the strategies from the draft Northern Territory Aboriginal Justice Agreement which is out for public consultation until 31 July.

2020 Annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Address (YouTube)

TRANSCRIPT — 2020 Annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Address PDF (718.9 KB)

Chief Justice Michael Grant with Leanne Liddle
Director of the Aboriginal Justice Unit Leanne Liddle with NT Chief Justice Michael Grant.

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