Constitutional reform and its relationship with land justice

Constitutional reform and its relationship with land justice Report

AIATSIS Issues Paper

  • Author(s): Sean Brennan
  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies; Native Title Research Unit
  • Volume: Land, Rights, Laws: Issues of Native Title

Abstract: The Australian government has made a commitment to a referendum on constitutional recognition of Australia’s first peoples. In a series of two papers, Land, Rights, Laws: Issues of Native Title, will explore where native title might fit into this debate. In this paper, native title specialist Sean Brennan outlines five possible areas of constitutional change and discusses their practical implications for native title. While many key legal settings for native title are already in place, recent history tells us that important legislative and judicial choices about Indigenous land justice will continue to be made in coming years and that constitutional arrangements will exert a significant shaping influence on the outcome. A range of viable proposals for constitutional reform are presently under consideration for a 2013 referendum which could materially affect the future pursuit of land justice for first peoples in Australia. These include, in particular, a non-discrimination clause with respect to race, which allows for positive Indigenous-specific laws, including ones enacted under a revised power in section 51(xxvi) of the Constitution, and a constitutional provision to support agreement-making between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Suggested Citation
Sean Brennan, 2011, Constitutional reform and its relationship with land justice, Volume:Land, Rights, Laws: Issues of Native Title, Report, viewed 07 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3280.

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