NT Youth Justice class action

Maurice Blackburn is running this class action on behalf of young people mistreated in youth detention centres in the Northern Territory, between 1 August 2006 and 27 November 2017.

Register now

The class action was filed in the Federal Court of Australia on 23 December 2016. It is being managed from our Class Actions practice in Sydney.

Opt Out

On 26 June 2020 the Federal Court set 12 October 2020 as the date by which members of the class should opt out of the class action. To find out more about opting out and how to do it please click here.

Background to the class action

On 25 July 2016, ABC’s Four Corners aired a report called ‘Australia’s Shame’. It exposed the mistreatment of young people in youth detention in the Northern Territory. This report caused public outrage. The Australian Government reacted by announcing the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

After the Four Corners report, Maurice Blackburn started getting a lot of referrals from NT legal services for other young people mistreated in youth detention. Our investigation showed that the mistreatment was very widespread, so Maurice Blackburn filed a class action representing them all on 23 December 2016.

The Royal Commission handed down its Final Report on 17 November 2017.

Who is part of the class action?

The class action was brought by Dylan Jenkings and Aaron Hyde on behalf of all young people mistreated in any Northern Territory youth detention centre between 1 August 2006 and 27 November 2017.

Mr Jenkings and Mr Hyde are claiming compensation money for themselves and 'class members'. Class members are people who:

  1. were held in a youth detention centre in the Northern Territory at any time between 1 August 2006 and 27 November 2017 – the detention centres are listed below under ‘Youth detention centres’; and
  2. suffered (or say they suffered) any of the following mistreatment in a youth detention centre:
    • assault and battery – this can be by strip searching, handcuffing or other restraints, or being threatened, roughly treated or bashed by officers
    • false imprisonment – by being held in isolation.

Class members do not need to do anything now to be part of the class action. But if you register with us we can let you know anything important about the case.

You can register by clicking on REGISTER NOW.

Youth detention centres

The places which were youth detention centres during the time covered by the class action (1 August 2006 and 27 November 2017) were:

DARWIN

  • Old Don Dale (Don Dale Youth Detention Centre) until 21 December 2014
  • New Don Dale (Don Dale Youth Detention Centre) from 22 December 2014
  • Parts of Darwin Correctional Centre (the adult prison at Holtze) from 19 August 2014
  • Darwin Magistrates Court holding areas and cells 5 and 6 from 12 December 2013; and
  • Youth Justice Court in Darwin from 15 February 2016

ALICE SPRINGS

  • Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre from 25 March 2011
  • Parts of Alice Springs Correctional Centre (the adult prison) from 25 March 2011; and
  • Arunda House in Alice Springs from 29 October 2014 to 31 March 2015

Time limits

Laws often give a time limit for a case to be started. In this case the time limit is 6 months, but the Court can sometimes give longer.

Mr Jenkings and Mr Hyde have asked the Court to give longer to all class members. It will still be up to the Court to decide whether to give that extra time.

Register your interest

You don’t have to register to be part of the class action. But if you register we can tell you when important things happen.

You can also register another person you think might be part of the class action.

Register by clicking on the REGISTER NOW button.

Or you can call Maurice Blackburn on the free number 1800 226 211 and we can do the registration over the phone.

Where can I find out more?

You can call Maurice Blackburn to find out:

  • more about the class action
  • whether you or someone you know is part of the class action

The phone number is 1800 226 211 (free call).

More information is also in the documents and websites listed below under 'Resources and links'.