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The Northern Territory continues to bear the brunt of the conflict between customary law and government law. Katharine Aboriginal Legal Service’s Peter O’Brien says changes must be made to allow for these cross-cultural needs. An example he cites is the need for Aboriginal people to be released on bail to satisfy the requirements of traditional punishment before going to court. When the Wire contacted Northern Territory Justice Minister Peter Toyne for his comments, a spokesman said the government’s position on allowing time for traditional punishments as part of bail was already clear – and they would not consider changes.

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