The abuse and torture of children in the Northern Territory’s so-called youth justice system has finally provoked national outrage.

Responding to widespread public concern arising from Monday night’s damning ABC Four Corners program, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took less than 12 hours to announce a royal commission. The purpose of the royal commission, in his initial words, is to speedily investigate the videos and “get to the bottom of it, and expose what occurred and expose the culture that allowed it to occur and allowed it to remain unrevealed for so long”.