NT Territory Families Minister Kate Worden said the government attempted to suppress the unprecedented amount of a class action settlement won by youths who were mistreated in detention because it is only an "in principle" agreement.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn, who represented inmates in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre between 2006 and 2017, released a statement this morning announcing that they had secured a $35 million settlement on their behalf.
It is the largest class action settlement the NT Government has ever agreed to.
The amount was initially not public, and the NT Government attempted to have an order made in the Australian Federal Court to have the amount suppressed from publication.
Addressing the media this afternoon, Ms Worden said that the attempt was made because the settlement agreement was "in principle" and would not be finalised until November.
She also said she didn't want potential claimants thinking they would be entitled to a share of the full $35 million.
"It's really important that people are aware that within there, there is a substantial amount of money that will go to settling Maurice Blackburn's legal costs, and the administration fees for the settlement of the class action," Ms Worden said.
The portion of the settlement amount that will go towards those costs will be determined by an independent assessment, according to Ms Worden.
Ms Worden confirmed that one of the conditions of the settlement was that the NT Government does not admit that its youth detention officers acted illegally.
"We're not going through a long, more protracted process. And that is part of the settlement conditions that we requested that it was without admission," she said.
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