In a statement, ALA has welcomed a parliamentary report that supports constitutional recognition for an Indigenous voice to Parliament.
“After eight years of consultation, and the Uluru Statement from the Heart, this reform must be our constitutional priority,” said ALA president Noor Blumer.
“The proposed approach to creating the ‘voice to Parliament’ will constitutionally empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but at the same time it respects parliamentary supremacy and upholds the constitution.”
ALA is “pleased to see that both the process of truth-telling and the establishment of a national resting place” for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s remains have also been recommended by the committee, Ms Blumer continued.
“The Australian legal system has disempowered and marginalised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for too long,” she said.
“We can see the effects of this every day in the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons and detention centres, and in the way the law has been used to break up their families.”
“Our legal system has often failed to adequately represent Indigenous people and we believe that the recommendations in the Uluru Statement from the Heart are sensible, pragmatic and legally moderate,” she concluded.
The comments from ALA follow the Australian Bar Association’s stance earlier this year in support of a constitutional voice for Indigenous Australians, with the independent bar associations from across the country coming together for a joint submission pledging support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
In June, the ABA said it “supports the idea of an independent permanent advisory body to be enshrined in the constitution [and] any constitutional amendment should, preferably, be flexible as to the design of the voice”.