Life imprisonment in the NT

Prisoners who are convicted of murder in the Northern Territory (NT) are automatically given a life sentence under the law. 

This essentially means they are not entitled to parole for at least 20 years. However, in some cases a judge can order a longer non-parole period.

In some cases, the judge can refuse to give a non-parole period which means the prisoner could spend the rest of their life in prison. 

Prisoners can be given a longer non-parole period in any of the following circumstances:

  • premeditated murder
  • contract killing
  • multiple or serial murder
  • murder of a child under 18 years old
  • murder with sexual motivation
  • murder of police officer or public official.

Last updated: 28 November 2017