Northern Territory Magistrates Courts
The Northern Territory Magistrates’ Court operates two specialist courts:
The SMART Court hears criminal matters where the offender has committed an offence and has a history of serious substance misuse. The SMART Court is able to issue bans on the consumption of alcohol or drugs and will make SMART orders as a condition of sentence or deferred sentence (bail) after a person is found guilty of an offence. The SMART orders will include treatment and other relevant conditions which will form the basis of case management and supervision by a Court Clinician for a period of no less than 6 months.
A criminal matter which is being heard in the Magistrates Court or the Youth Justice Court may be referred to the SMART Court by the Court, a prosecutor, a police officer or the eligible offender. An eligible offender may be referred to the SMART Court for a mandatory assessment, however once the assessment is completed, the offender has a choice whether to participate in the SMART Court program.
The SMART Court refers an eligible offender for clinical assessment by a Court Clinician prior to making a SMART Order. A Court Clinician is a professional person with the appropriate qualifications and experience to assess people for misuse of a substance.
The SMART Court has the power to:
The SMART Court monitors the progress of an offender on a SMART Order.
If an offender does not maintain a satisfactory level of compliance with the order, sanctions may be imposed, including:
At the completion of the SMART Order, the offender appears before the SMART Court to be sentenced, or for reconsideration of their suspended sentence.
An offender may at any time after a SMART Order is made, ask the Court to revoke the Order. The final decision on whether a SMART Order will be revoked rests with the SMART Court. If the SMART Order is revoked or cancelled before completion, the offender must appear before the SMART Court to be sentenced.
The SMART Court has replaced the Alcohol Court and the CREDIT (NT) programs which operated up to 30 June 2011.
For further information see:
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