Articles by: John B. Lawrence SC

Author Biography:

John B. Lawrence SC is a Darwin barrister. He was a Crown prosecutor in Darwin and later solicitor in charge of the Northern Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service. He is a past president of the Northern Bar Association and of the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory. He represented one of the Don Dale youth detainees during the Royal Commission.

What the meaning of Don Dale Is

The prison’s survival is a measure of our country’s moral decline.

Indigenous Child Abuse Continues in Australia

No human being should be held in such a dystopian relic, let alone a troubled Indigenous child.

Darwin Calling

The reality, the ‘truth’ of this situation, is that there is no way in the world white Australian children would be detained in such a place. This really is apartheid. How has Australia descended this low?

The Decline and Fall of the NT Legal System

The malaise that besets the NT legal system is symptomatic of Australia’s fall from grace as a country.

‘The Aboriginal Gulag’: The Northern Territory’s Criminal Legal System

It is no longer an overworked, under-resourced and at times chaotic legal system. It is now not fit for purpose and has become a depraved jailing machine consuming Aboriginal men, women and children at an ever-increasing rate.

Informit: Indigenous lives matter

The broken NT legal system, 'disremembering', and the Indigenous struggle For over twenty years Indigenous people in the Northern Territory have been subjected to increasing oppression, punitive measures and abuse by government social policies and criminal-law reforms. Their vulnerability to this has been compounded by a legal system that over this period has deteriorated in quality and standards. Their own legal representation, the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA), has been a collaborator with governments…

Informit: Powerless and voiceless

The recent spate of incidents at Northern Territory (NT) youth justice detention centres shows that two years after the White/Gooda Royal Commission was established little has changed. This is evident in the continuing high number of Aboriginal youth in detention - still six to seven times higher than in any other state. One hundred per cent of youth detainees are Aboriginal, with 80 per cent of them held on remand. And then there are the…

Informit: ‘Australia’s shame’ confirmed

On Friday 17 November 2017 the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory (RCPDCNT) produced its findings and recommendations. I believe it accurately records that we are a lesser country than we once were, and indeed that this diminishment exposes a country in general moral collapse.