Meet the Speakers
Phillip Boulten SC
New South Wales
Phillip is the pre-eminent criminal barrister in Australia. Admitted in 1979, called to the bar in 1988 and appointed silk in 2003, Phillip has appeared in many high profile criminal trials and appeals.
A member of the Law Council of Australia’s Criminal Law Committee, former President of the NSW Bar Association and holding various senior positions and memberships on committees and associations, Phil is a giant in the criminal law. Upon his awarding of the Law Council of Australia President’s Award in 2018, he was described as ‘exemplifying the best of the profession’.
Phillip is a friend to the NT and has appeared as senior counsel in a number of high profile appeals and murder trials in recent years. He appeared on behalf of NAAJA in the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, and regularly offers pro bona advice and assistance.
CLANT is thrilled to have Phillip Boulten SC present our key note address.
Justice Lex Lasry
Reserve Judge Supreme Court of Victoria
Lasry completed his 'articles' at the law firm Slater & Gordon, and read for the Victorian Bar under David Bennett QC. He was permitted to practise law in Victoria in 1973 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1990.
As a barrister and Queens Counsel, Lasry has acted as defence counsel in several high-profile criminal cases in Australia and overseas. He acted on behalf of Joseph Thomas in a high-profile Australian terror trial (see R v Thomas) in which Thomas was convicted of receiving funds from a terrorist organisation and for passport offences. The conviction was overturned on appeal. Lasry represented Van Tuong Nguyen in the high-profile case in which he was convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore in 2002 and executed in December 2005. At about that time Lasry took up the case of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two of the nine Australians convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia, known as the Bali Nine. That work has been continued by barrister Julian McMahon and a team of Victorian lawyers.
Lasry was appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria on 23 October 2007. He is also a member of the Council of the International Criminal Bar for counsel practising before the International Court of Justice
He retired in June 2018 but has continued as a Reserve Judge since the end of that year.
Managing Principal Solicitor
Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
Nicole currently has an inquiries practice representing ministers, departments, statutory agencies, office holders in connection with their engagement with various royal commissions and inquiries. She is accredited by the law institute of Victoria as a specialist in criminal law.
Nicole's practice focuses on advising on the conduct of formal investigations and formal inquiries, including royal commissions, parliamentary inquiries and boards of inquiry. Nicole is an experienced lawyer and advocate with over 20 years' experience in private legal practice. She is the current co chair of the criminal law section of the Law Institute of Victoria, and is a senior fellow at Monash University.
Nicole has extensive experience in providing expert and sensitive advice to clients, leading teams of lawyers and barristers, and managing the conduct of complex litigation in the supreme court, county court, federal court and magistrates courts of Victoria, including high profile and high stakes litigation. She has also provided specialist representation and advice in connection with matters before the independent broad based Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Chief Examiner, and in relation various disciplinary and regulatory boards and tribunals.
Assisting Children's Commission
Office of the Children's Commissioner
Nicole is a Larrakia/Wadjigan and Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal woman from the NT and is currently the Assistant Commissioner for Children in the Office of the Children’s Commissioner NT.
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Social Work and has defined her career in child and family welfare, with experience in child protection, care and protection research and program and policy development in Victoria and the NT
North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)
Custody Notification Service
BIO coming soon!
ARDS Aboriginal Corporation
Since the introduction of s 85 ENULA and equivalent provisions in other Uniform Evidence Act jurisdictions, the courts have developed divergent approaches to the interpretation of s 85(2).
These approaches are often articulated as a subjective or objective analysis of the admissions, and to date there is still legal ambiguity about the preferred approach. This paper will compare and illustrate the two approaches, and then compare the legal approaches to assessing reliability of admissions with a linguistic approach to describing reliability. The paper will articulate different fundamental assumptions about language held by the law and linguistics, and show how those underlying attitudes impact different understandings of reliability. The paper will argue that there is ample scope within the current legislative framework for courts to adopt a more linguistically informed approach to reliability, whilst also concluding that specific legislative amendment to s 85(2) will resolve the current tension in legal interpretation of the provision.
This paper ties into the broader theme of 30 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths into Custody because it draws a direct link between problematic assumptions about language within the legal profession and high rates of admissions and convictions for Aboriginal Territorians. These issues were identified in the RCADC, however are still largely unresolved.
Magistrate Alana Padmanabham
Children's Court Perth WA
Alana was admitted to practice in Western Australia in February 2005, and has more than 15 years experience in civil litigation, personal injury and criminal law.
Having operated a successful law practice, Ms Padmanabham regularly appeared as counsel in high profile trials and sentencing matters in all jurisdictions.
Alana is a commissioner of Legal Aid WA and a committee member of Women Lawyers of Western Australia. She became a magistrate in the Children's Court of Perth in January 2021.
Lloyd Babb SC
Director of Public Prosecutions for the Northern Territory and formerly the DPP for New South Wales for 10 years
Babb's notable successful prosecutions include the Darwiche Razzak Fahda series of murders, Robert Hughes (Hey Dad actor), Graeme Reeves (the Butcher of Bega), the Constitutional Challenge to the State Application to outlaw the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and Wendy Stott.
Lloyd was appointed the position of Director of Public Prosecutions for the Northern Territory commencing on 14 March 2022.
Judge Dina Yehia SC
District Court of New South Wales
Judge Dina Yehia SC graduated with a Bachelor of Arts/Law from the University of NSW and subsequently completed a Masters in International Criminal Law at Sydney University. Her Honour was admitted as a solicitor in 1989 and worked with the Western Aboriginal Legal Service from December 1989 until September 1996. In that capacity, her Honour appeared for thousands of Aboriginal people in towns such as Bourke, Brewarrina, Wilcannia and Broken Hill.
Her Honour worked as a Solicitor Advocate with the Legal Aid Commission and was called to the Bar in 1999. Her Honour was then appointed a Public Defender. Her Honour took silk in 2009 and became the first female Deputy Senior Public Defender in 2013.
Her Honour’s practice in the Supreme Court included murder trials and the year-long terrorism trial at Parramatta in 2009. In 2013, her Honour appeared as lead counsel in the High Court case of The Queen v Bugmy and in the Special Leave application in Honeysett.
Her Honour was appointed a Judge of the District Court in May 2014. Her Honour is the Chairperson of the Walama Court Working Group, which has been working to establish an Indigenous sentencing court as part of the NSW District Court. The Walama List commenced operating in the District Court on 31 January 2022.
Her Honour is also the Chairperson of Diverse Women in Law, an Organisation which has been formed to mentor women of diverse backgrounds in the profession. In that she has mentored many women in the law and commenced the Court Observation Program which provides an opportunity for a woman from a diverse background, studying law, to spend a day with a Judge in either the Supreme or District Court, observing proceedings and generally engaging with the Judge and her/his staff.
Her Honour is a Council member of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration and the National Judicial College of Australia. Her Honour is also the Chair of the Ngara Yura Committee. The Ngara Yura Program aims to increase awareness among Judicial Officers about First Nations social and cultural issues.
Commercial Bank Chambers
Lismore, New South Wales
Sophie is the Regional Representative of the NSW Bar for the North Coast Region of NSW.
Sophie’s practice currently consists of District Court trial and sentence work and she continues to accept pro bono work for the ALS services in her region for First Nations people with cognitive impairments. She initially worked with the ALS in both their metropolitan and regional offices.
She moved into private practice and co-established a law firm as a Partner. She then moved to the NSW Bar in 2014.
Sophie has lectured at Southern Cross University and co-authored course materials in Evidence and has published in the Redfern Legal Lawyers Practice Manual by Thomson Reuters in relation to Drugs Law. She was a member of the Juvenile Justice Committee advising the Law Society of NSW.
Dr Thalia Anthony
Professor of Law
University of Technology
Sydney, New South Wales
Dr Thalia Anthony is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University.
Her research primarily relates to criminal laws and procedures and their impacts on First Nations peoples. She has an extensive track record in researching with First Nations peoples in the Northern Territory, including in relation to criminal sentencing, community courts, bail, the criminalisation of traffic offences, Night Patrols, Stolen Wages, homelessness and youth detention.
Her first book, Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment (2013), explored histories of discriminatory sentencing and recommended reforms, some of which were incorporated in the 2017 Pathways to Justice Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission. Thalia is a proud, regular presenter at CLANT conferences.
Public Defenders Chambers
New South Wales
Josh Brock worked at NAAJA from 2009 – 2015. From there he returned to Sydney where he worked for ALS NSW and in the coronial inquest unit at Legal Aid NSW before going to the private bar at Forbes Chambers.
In 2019 he became a Public Defender.
Josh has been a committee member on the Bugmy Bar Book Project since 2020.
Legal and Program Manager
Bugmy Bar Book
Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited
Crystal Triggs worked at NAAJA from 2014 – 2018. Prior to this she worked in private practice in Darwin and was an NTSC Associate.
From Darwin she returned to manage the Northern region of the ALS NSW from 2018 to 2022 before becoming the Legal and Program Manager for the Bugmy Bar Book Project in 2022.
Legal and Program Manager
Bugmy Bar Book
Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited
Lauren Stefanou is a solicitor at the ALS NSW and Teaching Fellow in the UNSW Faculty of Law & Justice.
She previously worked in police accountability in CLCs, as a NSWDC Associate, and was a media professional for 10 years prior to commencing legal practice.
She has been on the Bugmy Bar Book Project Committee since 2018, and was appointed as Legal and Program Manager in 2022.
Gabriel is a barrister at Crockett Chambers in Melbourne where he practices predominantly in criminal and administrative law. Prior to the Bar, Gabriel was a Public Defender at Victoria Legal Aid Chambers and a Senior Lawyer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in Darwin.
He began his career in 2011 at commercial law firm Herbert Smith Freehills before seeing the light and switching to criminal law in 2016 when he joined the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW). He holds an LLM from New York University and has argued defence tendency applications with varying degrees of success (and failure) in the Northern Territory and Victoria.
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Steve grew up in rural NSW but began his Bachelor of Laws/Economics studies at the University of Tasmania in 1992 on a scholarship program that was soon abandoned in favour local anthropological research that would often finish in the early hours of the morning. Once the Gene Pool Enhancement Allowance had run its course he transferred to the University of Technology Sydney and completed his degree there part-time while working in hospitality, which he ultimately took up full time.
Global adventure came next as he travelled the world with his now wife, taking up jobs in Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Italy across 5 years. While living in London he attended City University and studied International Law to remind him of why he’d gone to university in the first place.
He returned home in 2005, looked for work in the law in Sydney, woke up to himself, and packed his bags for the NT. He took up a placement with the Court of Summary Jurisdiction as an orderly then deputy registrar, was allowed to occupy a space in Justice Riley’s chambers in 2007 as an associate first tasked with proofing the lead judgement in the Court of Criminal Appeal decision in Bradley John Murdoch v The Queen, placed with NAAJA as an intern helping with the preparation of the Little Children Are Sacred submissions on behalf of the agency, and then began his time at the DPP. He started as a P1 summary prosecutor, on permanent bush court rotation, and after 13 years of service now swings from the antennae of the building King Kong style roaring into the night as a Senior Crown Prosecutor.
University of South Australia
Lisa Parker is a lecturer in law and PHD candidate at the University of South Australia. Her teaching and research interests include criminal law and procedure, sentencing, evidence, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. Lisa’s doctoral research examines the legitimacy of the early guilty plea in the resolution of criminal matters, including its implications for principles of criminal procedure and sentencing.
Lisa also has an interest in practical legal research. She is regularly engaged as a consultant researcher where she provides independent research to legal practitioners for trial and appellate court cases. Lisa has written research memorandums in all areas of law, including civil, criminal, administrative and constitutional law.
Lisa is admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Mary Chalmers SC
Mary Chalmers SC is an expert trial lawyer with a reputation for hard-work and effective advocacy.
Mary accepts briefs in a diverse range of matters at advice, trial and appellate stages. Raised in Nhulunbuy and Darwin, she offers a local and strategic perspective.
Mary is a founding member of Murray Chambers Northern Territory, an affiliate of Murray Chambers in both Adelaide and Perth - offering clients access to specialist senior counsel. [Read more]
Jon Tippett QC
Northern Territory Bar
Jon Tippett has been working as a Barrister for over 30 years in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. He has been involved with criminal court cases locally, interstate and internationally.
Jon has been referred to in significant detail in two recent books "The People Smuggler" by Robin De Crespigny Penguin/Vicking 2012 and "Trouble - On Trial in Central Australia" Kieran Finnane ; 2016 University of Queensland Press.
The subject matter of the book involves the first "contract killing" that has occurred in the Northern Territory. Jon acted for a young aboriginal man from Katherine Zac Grieve. The book highlights the serious injustice of the system of mandatory sentencing in the Northern Territory. Jon Tippet is described in the book in the following fashion:
"Zac Grieve was defended by Jon Tippett QC. Tippett began his career in Victoria, then headed to the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Alice Springs before moving to Darwin to hang out his own shingle. He is known around the courts for his obsession with physical fitness, still looking like a body builder after forty years of practicing law, and his short stature is often boosted with chunk heels under his boots. Tippett is a bullish fighter of a lawyer. He can switch in an instant from charming and gregarious to sarcastic and angry, and has a way with words that can sometimes convince jurors of the impossible." [Read more]
Legal Aid Commission NT
Ms Annmarie Lumsden, a highly-accomplished senior leader who has a career spanning 23 years, will take up the top job in Legal Aid in the Territory.
Ms Lumsden comes to the role from Legal Aid NSW, where she has served as Director of Crime. In addition, she has held roles as Acting Deputy CEO, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy, Acting Director of Family Law, Director of Grants and Solicitor Advocate (Criminal Law), and became an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law in 1999.
Ms Lumsden also brings substantial experience in issues of Indigenous incarceration and justice, including the establishment of an Aboriginal people’s sentencing court in the District Court of NSW, the Bugmy Justice Project.
In welcoming Ms Lumsden, the Territory Labor Government also extends its thanks and recognition for the outstanding work and leadership of the outgoing Director of the NT Legal Aid Commission, Ms Suzan Cox QC OAM.
Aboriginal Justice Unit
Department of Justice and Attorney General
The woman responsible for driving a major agreement aimed at reducing Indigenous incarceration rates and improving justice outcomes in the Northern Territory has been named the 2022 NT Australian of the Year.
Born in Alice Springs, Arrernte woman Leanne Liddle, 52, was the first Indigenous woman to become a police officer in South Australia.
During her decade of service she fought racism and discrimination, which further fuelled her drive to make a difference in the justice sector.
After leaving the police force she attained a law degree, and went on to work for the United Nations and several high-profile government roles.
She joined the Aboriginal Justice Unit in 2017 and, in that role, has been the driving force behind the Aboriginal Justice Agreement.
The agreement aims to reduce imprisonment rates, increase Aboriginal leadership and improve justice outcomes for Indigenous Territorians, in partnership with Aboriginal people. [Read more]
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Jonathon Hunyor is the CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a social justice law and policy centre based in Sydney.
Jonathon has practised law for 25 years in NSW and the Northern Territory, in areas including criminal law, discrimination and human rights, migration and refugee law and Aboriginal land rights.
Prior to joining PIAC in 2016, Jonathon was the Principal Legal Officer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in Darwin; Director of Legal Services at the Australian Human Rights Commission; and worked as a lawyer at the Central Land Council in Alice Springs and the NT Legal Aid Commission in Darwin.
Jonathon is a Director of the Australian Pro Bono Centre, has taught discrimination law at the University of NSW and has published widely in academic and professional journals.
Richard Edney was admitted to practice in 1997. From 1998 to 2002 he worked as a criminal lawyer for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. He then worked as Senior Lecturer in Law at Deakin University and taught evidence and criminal law. During this time he was also a consultant solicitor advocate for the law firm Doogue & O'Brien and appeared in the Magistrates, County and Supreme Courts in criminal matters.
Richard is the co-author of Australian Sentencing: Principles and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and has published widely in the areas of sentencing, evidence and criminal procedure.He is a Victoria Legal Aid Criminal Trial Preferred barrister.
The Hon. Chansey Paech
Member of Parliament
Northern Territory Government
Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licensing;
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice;
Minister for Local Government;
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage;
Minister for Desert Knowledge Australia
Richard Fejo Senior
Member of Parliament
Northern Territory Government
Richard Fejo is a Larrakia man of direct male descent, through his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Better known as Richie, he grew up the youngest of seven kids, and vividly remembers tearing around Rapid Creek, playing rugby and the devastation of Cyclone Tracy.
Richie has devoted his life to cross-cultural communication, and his career has taken him from legal aid to the Darwin Waterfront Corporation where he now serves as Chair.
He is also the Chair of Larrakia Nation, the Senior Elder on campus at Flinders University and he sits on the international relations committee for the City of Darwin.
On top of that, Richie is a talented comedian and singer-songwriter, performing regularly around town, and nurturing the next generation of comics as well.
Richie Fejo spoke to the ABC's Miranda Tetlow on Late Lunch. [Listen here]