The Northern Territory government must move quickly to replace the Don Dale youth detention centre with a new facility after another incident at the trouble-plagued site, the Law Council of Australia says.
A number of inmates climbed onto the roof of the centre on Friday and clashed verbally with guards before eventually coming down after about five hours.
Law council president Arthur Moses says while the cause of the recent disturbance is not yet clear, what is clear is that Don Dale is not fit for the detention of children.
"What we do know is that children simply should not be detained at Don Dale," Mr Moses said in a statement on Monday.
"It is a former adult prison that was not deemed suitable for adult detainees yet we have placed the most vulnerable members of our community - our children - in the facility," Mr Moses said.
The construction of a new youth detention facility and the demolition of Don Dale were the key recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory.
The NT government recently picked a site for a new centre at Pinelands but scrapped those plans in January with the government now looking for alternative sites.
A $3.3 million design contract has also been awarded.
But Mr Moses said if the Territory government could not act quickly to replace the facility, the federal government should intervene.
"If the NT government cannot deliver on its promise to act on the royal commission's recommendations in a timely manner, it is time that the Commonwealth government intervened as it has the constitutional right and moral duty to do so," he said.
"Children are paying the price for the government's lack of swift action.
"We cannot look the other way as a community and allow this to continue."
Australian Associated Press