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Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The submission to the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2018 was prepared by the Law Council. 

The submission draws on previous submissions of the Law Council on the topic of constitutional recognition, most notably the Law Council’s submission in response to the Referendum Council’s Discussion Paper on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and its submission to the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The submission is also informed by the previous reports and inquiries that have taken place on the issue of constitutional recognition, including the ‘Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution: Report of the Expert Panel’, the ‘Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’, and most recently, the report of the Referendum Council and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Law Council is further guided by relevant international human rights law, in particular the terms of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration recognises the urgent need to respect and promote the rights of Indigenous people affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with States. This includes measures such as constitutional recognition and are discussed in this submission.

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