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
Indigenous affairs needs review

Indigenous affairs needs review

A United Nations inspector has found that Australia's bid to "close the gap" between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia overtly discriminates against aboriginal peoples and says a review of…

A United Nations inspector has found that Australia's bid to "close the gap" between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia overtly discriminates against aboriginal peoples and says a review of all legislation and policies that affect Aboriginal peoples is desperately needed.

Following an 11-day Australian visit, UN special rapporteur on indigenous rights James Anaya this week released his statement on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous people.

He found that while the Australian Government should be commended for taking significant steps to improve the human rights and socio-economic conditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the country - especially its apology to the victims of the stolen generation - new initiatives and significant reforms to existing programs are still desperately needed.

Anaya said there were serious disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous parts of society, including life expectancy, basic health, education, unemployment, incarceration and access to basic services.

But Anaya noted that aspects of the Government initiatives to remove such disparities have raised concerns - especially the Northern Territory Emergency Response which involves an income management regime imposition of compulsory leases, and community-wide bans on alcohol consumption and pornography. "These measures overtly discriminate against aboriginal peoples, infringe their right of self-determination and stigmatise already stigmatised communities," he said.

In reference specifically to the NT Emergency Response, Anaya said in the form it is currently carried out it is not compatible with Australia's obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treaties.

But he said he was satisfied with the current measures to reform the NT Emergency Response and the Government-initiated consultations currently under way with Indigenous groups in the NT.

"I hope that amendments to the Emergency Response will diminish or remove its discriminatory aspects and adequately take into account the rights of Aboriginal peoples to self determination and culture integrity, in order to bring this Government initiative in line with Australia's international obligations," he said. "Furthermore, I urge the Government to act swiftly to reinstate the protections of the Racial Discrimination Act in regard to the Indigenous peoples of the Northern Territory."

Anaya also reiterated the importance of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for framing and evaluating legislation, policies, and actions affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. "I recommend that the Government undertake a comprehensive review of all its legislation, policies, and programs that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in light of the declaration," he said.

Anaya added that Australia needed to move to adopt genuine reconciliation measures, such as the proposed recognition of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples through a charter of rights included in the Constitution. "It is important to note that securing the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands is of central importance to indigenous peoples' socio-economic development, self-determination, and cultural integrity," he said.

Anaya met with government authorities and Indigenous community representatives and organisations to make his findings, also visiting a number of Indigenous communities in remote and urban areas.

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

Indigenous affairs needs review
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
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...
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'...
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...
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 & ...