find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Lawyers call for Constitution overhaul for indigenous Australians

Lawyers call for Constitution overhaul for indigenous Australians

The peak body representing Australian lawyers is calling for a change to the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including in the legal profession.

THE peak body representing Australian lawyers is calling for a change to the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 


The Law Council of Australia is hosting a discussion forum in Canberra today to discuss the importance of symbolic and substantive change to our nation’s Constitution to recognise indigenous Australians. 


The Law Council is using the forum as a board from which to launch its reconciliation action plan, which seeks to provide practical measures to improve Indigenous participation in the legal profession and promote understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the legal sector.


President of the Law Council of Australia, Alexander Ward said the forum, Constitutional Change: Recognition or Substantive Rights?, is the first of its kind hosted by the Law Council.


Discussions at the Forum commenced this morning with a keynote address by former High Court judge, the Hon. Michael Kirby, AC CMG.


Kirby’s address  was entitled Constitutional Law and Indigenous Australians: Challenge for a parched continent, looked at the issue of recognition versus substantive rights.


“Wrongs have been done to our nation’s Indigenous peoples, including in the Constitution that binds all Australians.


“The road to equality for Indigenous Australians is an ongoing journey—part of that journey must include Constitutional reform that acknowledges the important role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and is inclusive of all Australians,” Kirby said.


Law Council president Ward said the Law Council is pleased to present an eminent panel of speakers and a comprehensive agenda, which it hopes will stimulate "frank and robust discussion about modernising our Constitution to reflect an inclusive, tolerant and modern Australia—an Australia that embraces and acknowledges its first peoples.


“It is time Australia acknowledged our Constitution was not created for Indigenous Australians, or for the rich array of cultures now residing here.


“The vast majority of Australians now recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as Australia’s first peoples, but what they may not realise is there are provisions in our Constitution that are divisive and discriminatory,” Ward said.


The discussion topics developed for the Forum explore a number of possibilities for reform.


“Options for reform range from recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a new preamble to the Constitution, to recognition of substantive rights giving practical effect to that recognition,” Ward said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyers call for Constitution overhaul for indigenous Australians
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Violence
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
Nov 16 2017
From lawyer in law firm to senior governance professional
Promoted by Governance Institute of Australia As a law graduate, Kate Griffiths never imagined...
marriage equality
Nov 16 2017
Legislation the next hurdle for marriage equality
Lawyers have underscored the importance of ensuring same-sex marriage legislation does not limit ant...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...