Discussion Paper Northern Territory Women's Strategy March 1992
Tabled Paper 764
Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Marshall Perron
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
60 5. T H E L E G A L F R A M E W O R K The Legal System is the cornerstone of the framework of government. New legislation and legal reforms are necessary to achieve equality in our society. A range of criminal legislation and other legal reforms have had a significant impact on the lives of Territory women. Recent legislative reforms in the areas of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Prostitution and De Facto Relationships must be monitored to ensure that application and enforcement serve the interests of women and protect their rights. Trends should continue to be set for policy making in the criminal justice area. Pornography has far-reaching legal, ethical, and social implications. As long as women are portrayed as sex objects or victims of torture and mutilation, their worth and abilities will continue to be under valued. New strategies need to be developed to tackle the increase of pornography. Dr Jocelynne Scutt a lawyer says that by the year 2001, "Hopefully prostitution as a 'profession' for women will go into abeyance. With women having access to interesting and well paid jobs, there should be no need to engage in this allegedly well paid but in reality exploitative industry". (46) Development of the legal issues related to the new reproductive technologies, such as artificial insemination by donor, and invitro fertilization, must be considered in light of their impact on Territory women. 5 .1 W O M E N 'S VIEW O N T H E L A W Access to appropriate legal advice was seen by many women during the consultations as difficult. The legal aid system was regarded by most as the only affordable avenue, and there was a perception that budgetary constraints were causing the NT Legal Aid Commission to scale down services offered by the former federal agency. The exposure of most women to the law was regarded as being through the Family Law system. Frequently-mentioned difficulties were the few numbers of lawyers willing to take Family Law Legal Aid cases, and the consequent waiting time for clients seeking an appointment. It was also a concern that
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