Jobs Events Advertise

“Should be passed in its current from” - Law Council of Australia confirm constitutional Voice amendment is legally sound

Callan Morse -

The Law Council of Australia has advised the amendment to the constitution to provide an Indigenous Voice to parliament and the executive government should be passed in its current form.

It comes as Law Council of Australia President Luke Murphy said the Council considers the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment "just and legally sound."

"We continue to support a constitutionally enshrined Voice and believe the proposed amendment responds to the invitation to the Australian public for constitutional reform in the Uluru Statement from the Heart," Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy said the Council is in support of an advisory body which is empowered to make representations to government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

"The Voice will deliver a substantive mechanism for change. Providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a voice to represent their views about how policies, programs and laws would affect them, should lead to more informed decision-making," Mr Murphy said.

"It will help address the power imbalances embedded since (and beyond) the establishment of the constitution, which have enabled entrenched dispossession and disadvantage."

The Council has made a submission to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander referendum joint select committee, which is currently travelling the country seeking community feedback on the wording of the Voice referendum legislation.

The submission was similar to that of advice provided to government by Solicitor-General Dr Stephen Donaghue, who on Thursday said the Voice serves the purpose of overcoming barriers in political participation.

"Our submission to the Joint Select Committee on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Referendum has addressed many of the questions raised publicly about the impact of the constitutional amendment to enshrine the Voice," Mr Murphy said.

"The proposed amendment will not give the Voice a veto or law-making power nor the power to issue commands to Parliament. The power provided to the Voice is to make representations.

"It is not framed as a duty on the Executive, or Parliament, to consult the Voice. Parliament can decide whether and when a representation by the Voice must be considered by the Executive."

Mr Murphy said in "the majority of instances" the Voice will not be subject to trial in a court of law, suggesting there is "unfinished constitutional business" in recognising First Nations peoples as traditional custodians of Australia.

"Fundamentally, the role of the courts in declaring and enforcing the legal limits to the exercise of Executive power is not to be feared. Judicial review of administrative action is the application of the rule of law," Mr Murphy said.

"Australia has unfinished constitutional business, and we now have the opportunity to ensure Australia's supreme law substantially recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original custodians of the land."

The Law Council of Australia is the national voice of the legal profession, promoting justice and the rule of law.

   Related   

Debbie Kilroy slams Queensland's expansion of youth detention, and calls for community solutions
Queensland Premier Steven Miles and Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer initiated the construction of a new 80-bed youth detention...
Joseph Guenzler 1 Mar 2024
Canada's largest private sector union condemns arrest of First Nations journalist, warns of threat to democracy
Canada's largest private sector union has slammed the arrest and charging of an Indigenous journalist as a threat to "Canadian n...
Giovanni Torre 1 Mar 2024
Mystery around locations of native forestry plan
The location of native forest parcels slated to be logged in Tasmania under a Liberal government election pledge may not be made...
Ethan James 1 Mar 2024
DOBBY, Emma Donovan amongst new Indigenous Literacy Foundation ambassadors
National charity the Indigenous Literacy Foundation has announced musician DOBBY, singer Emma Donovan, TV personality Bianca Hun...
Callan Morse 1 Mar 2024

   Callan Morse   

DOBBY, Emma Donovan amongst new Indigenous Literacy Foundation ambassadors
National charity the Indigenous Literacy Foundation has announced musician DOBBY, singer Emma Donovan, TV personality Bianca Hun...
Callan Morse 1 Mar 2024
Matildas star Fowler backed despite club issues
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson says Mary Fowler’s significant lack of playing time for Manchester City is not troubling him as...
Ed Bourke 1 Mar 2024
Retired Grand Slam champ Ash Barty shows her skills in quest for NZ Pro-Am Championship
Ash Barty put on her competitive face once again in her quest for the New Zealand Pro-Am Championship with a brilliant chip fr...
NCA NewsWire 1 Mar 2024
Raging Amazon fires threaten Brazil's Yanomami people
Brazil's northernmost state of Roraima is suffering a sharp spike in wildfires, threatening the crisis-wracked Yanomami Indigeno...