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NSW, SA Law Society announces support of Voice to Parliament

The NSW and SA Law Societies have announced their support of the Voice to Parliament.

user iconNaomi Neilson 18 August 2023 Big Law
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The council of the NSW Law Society has chosen to support an Aboriginal and Torres Strat Islander Voice in the Australian Constitution following consultations with its Indigenous Issues Committee and its many solicitor members.

“We recognise the deeply compelling nature of the authentic, humble and practical request, contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, to be entitled to make representations on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” the council said.

In the statement announcing the NSW Law Society’s support, it said the Voice is an opportunity to “enshrine in the Constitution a formal mechanism to give voice” to principles of “self-determination, shared decision-making and genuine partnership”.


“We also acknowledge that the paramount voices in respect of issues concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people themselves.

“We urge Australians to prioritise these voices in discussions of the Voice to Parliament,” the council said.

The SA Law Society said in a statement that the Voice is “legally sound, constitutionally compatible, and aligned with the principles of representative and responsible government”.

President James Marsh said while the reform still needs “careful consideration”, the Voice is a “crucial issue about enhancing the rule of law in Australia and addressing the chronic disadvantage of First Nations People”.

“I am proud of how our society…have discussed this issue thoroughly over the last four months,” Mr Marsh said.

“Despite diverse views held by members – supportive, opposing and neutral – the discussion has been respectful and civilised, without disinformation. I hope that the continuing public debate will assume similar character.”

Along with the support, the NSW Law Society has collated information for members and clients to have access to “accurate and useful information” in light of ongoing confusion and debates.

“We acknowledge that debates about the composition, resourcing, political authority, and enduring impact of the Voice will not be resolved until after the referendum process is complete, and that is a source of concern for some.

“We particularly respect the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been waiting decades for reconciliation and policy reform,” the NSW council said.