Who is the new NT royal commissioner?

Neda Vanovac

The man appointed as Australia's latest royal commissioner is no stranger to the spotlight, having presided over the Snowtown and Peter Falconio murder trials.

Brian Ross Martin QC AO will head up an investigation into the Northern Territory's child protection and youth justice systems.

From 2004 to 2010 he was the chief justice of the NT's Supreme Court, and prior to that was a South Australian Supreme Court judge from 1999 until 2004.

He has also served as a SA senior crown prosecutor and as the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

On Thursday Mr Martin said he could see no reason for a perception of a conflict of interest despite his time as the NT's chief justice coming under the spotlight of the commission, which will go back as far as 2005.

"There's never been any suggestion that this sort of treatment was brought to my attention," he told reporters in Canberra.

"I see the advantages of a knowledge of the Territory."

He said there was no guarantee that he may have sentenced a young person to serve time at Darwin's Don Dale centre, but said the majority of sentencing is done in the Children's or the Youth Courts.

"I can't say that I won't necessarily have sentenced someone for an offence ... But never has anyone come forward and said, `Look, while in custody this child was tear-gassed', or, `This child was hooded', or there was some mistreatment of the child," he said.

"So the mere fact that I might have sentenced someone, I don't see as a problem at all."