The recent release of the Referendum Council’s report has prompted the Law Council of Australia to call on the Federal parliament to ensure constitutional reform remains a top priority.
The Law Council of Australia; the nation’s peak legal body representing Australia’s legal profession, has frequently called for meaningful reform to be pursued in aim of empowering Australia’s Indigenous people.
President of the Law Council of Australia Fiona McLeod SC, said the historical exclusion of Australia’s First Peoples highlights the need for constitutional reform.
“This is a major milestone in the movement toward inclusion of Australia’s First Peoples in the foundation document of our nation,” Ms McLeod said.
“As the report’s authors point out, this serves as a significant response to the historical exclusion of First Peoples from the original process that led to the adoption of the Australian Constitution.
“The report acknowledges the enduring legacy of colonisation and laws and policies which marginalised and excluded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and that sovereignty was never ceded.
“The report provides a clear case for inclusion and recognition of the distinct and enduring cultures which existed for many thousands of years prior to any claim by the British in right of the Crown.”
Ms McLeod also underlined the critical importance governmental and community support has in ensuring the achievement of a successful referendum.
“It is critical that governments and civil society work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and organisations, to ensure their voices continue to be heard.
“The Law Council is considering the report in full and will continue to offer its assistance in advancing the process.”
The Referendum Council’s report can be found here.