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A First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution

By: Shireen Morris
Media of A First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution
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Published: 06-08-2020
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 344
ISBN: 9781509928927
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP : £60.00

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About A First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution

This book makes the legal and political case for Indigenous constitutional recognition through a constitutionally guaranteed First Nations voice, as advocated by the historic Uluru Statement from the Heart. It argues that a constitutional amendment to empower Indigenous peoples with a fairer say in laws and policies made about them and their rights, is both constitutionally congruent and politically achievable. A First Nations voice is deeply in keeping with the culture, design and philosophy of Australia's federal Constitution, as well as the long history of Indigenous advocacy for greater empowerment and self-determination in their affairs.

Offering the first scholarly monograph articulating the comprehensive case for a First Nations constitutional voice, the book explores the historical, political, theoretical and international contexts underpinning the debate, before delving into the constitutional detail to craft a compelling case for change.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The historical, political, theoretical and international context
3. An analysis of and response to objections to a racial non-discrimination clause
4. Lessons from New Zealand, Canada and Scandinavia
5. The legislative possibility of Indigenous reserved seats in Parliament
6. The Uluru Statement: the case for a First Nations body enshrined in the Constitution
7. Conclusion


“Shireen Morris combines her insight from her first hand involvement in the practical struggle for Aboriginal constitutional recognition with a scholarly legal analysis of the possibilities and pitfalls entailed in a range of options. This book provides essential ballast to the debate, explaining why we have got here, which routes have been closed off and what still needs to be done.” –  Professor Anne Twomey, University of Sydney

“'Shireen Morris draws on her unique combination of legal scholarship and political advocacy to put forward the case of reason and compromise in order to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Australian Constitution in a way that respects both Indigenous aspirations and the constitutional concerns of people across the political spectrum. In this ongoing conversation about constitutional reform, scholars and statesmen alike should take heed of the compelling voice of moderation that Shireen Morris brings to an otherwise fraught discussion – a discussion that desperately needs the insights of a book like this.'” –  Professor Greg Craven AO GCSG, Vice-Chancellor and President of Australian Catholic University

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