Oct 22, 2008

Charge up! It’s court day in Yuendumu

Defendants and family gather under the meagre shade of straggly trees, Aboriginal legal aid lawyers sit with piles of files at two card tables in the sun ... welcome to court day in Yuendumu, writes Crikey blogger Bob Gosford.

The NT Magistrates Court rolled into Yuendumu for its bi-monthly visit late last week. Leading the four-wheel-driven caravan was Alice Springs based Stipendiary Magistrate John Birch, with an assortment of defence lawyers, police prosecutors and staff from the Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal service in tow. Add the eight members of the Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Group, local and regional NT Police and their ACPO (Aboriginal Community Police Officers) offsiders, probation officers and Court staff, defendants, family members and curious rubber-neckers and it was the best and biggest show to hit town all month.

Magistrate Birch called us all to order just after 10am in the run-down chambers of the now defunct Yuendumu Community Government Council. Her Royal Highness Elizabeth II smiled wanly from the wall. A layer of red dust gathered on any undisturbed surface.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

One thought on “Charge up! It’s court day in Yuendumu

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details