University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series
Last Updated: 7 May 2012
Constitutional Reform and its Relationship to Land Justice
Sean Brennan, University of New South Wales
This paper is available for download at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2038151
This article was publiched in Native Title Research Unit, Vol.5, Issue No.2, October 2011. This paper may also be referenced as  UNSWLRS 10.
While many key legal settings for native title are already in place, recent history tells us that important legislative and judicial choices about Indigenous land justice will continue to be made in coming years and that constitutional arrangements will exert a significant shaping influence on the outcome. A range of viable proposals for constitutional reform are presently under consideration for a 2013 referendum which could materially affect the future pursuit of land justice for first peoples in Australia. These include, in particular, a non-discrimination clause with respect to race, which allows for positive Indigenous-specific laws, including ones enacted under a revised power in section 51(xxvi) of the Constitution, and a constitutional provision to support agreement-making between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.