Matthew Abbott/Panos Pictures

Wadeye, Northern Territory, Australia

Paul Jones, sergeant at the Wadeye Police Station, talks with a group of Aboriginal elders as he walks around the Wadeye. In a town where very little traditional policing occurs (many of the cases are brought to the police using CCTV footage) Paul Jones makes an effort to connect with the town elders.

Northern Territory (NT) Local Circuit Courts, or 'bush courts', operate in 30 remote Aboriginal communities. The judge and the lawyers fly into each location to hold the court, dealing with a large number of cases, often over a 100, each day. Although they are based on the principle that justice should be accessible to everyone, regardless of where they reside, the 'bush courts' have been criticised as being a legacy of colonialism, under resourced, punitive and inappropriate for the communities they serve. Despite the high risk of jail time, the accused often have only a few minutes to take advice from their lawyers who are often unable to communicate with their Indigenous clients, many of whom have limited English. According to a class action lawsuit being brought against the NT government, court translation services are inadequate and often fail to keep defendants informed of the procedures during their trials, breaching a legal requirement that defendants understand what is going on at all times in the courtroom.

Part of story
Object Name
Matthew Abbott/Panos Pictures
Wadeye, Northern Territory
Max size
High Resolution
5000 x 3335 pixels
42.33 x 28.24 cm (300 dpi)
16.67 x 11.12 inch (300 dpi)
5.4 MB size on disk
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