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Discussion paper
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UNDRIP and enshrining Aboriginal rights 1.26 MB

This paper is the third in a series of discussion papers presented by the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations (the Federation). Informed by international examples, this paper explores methods by which the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) could be enshrined in Victoria's Treaty process.

Key Findings/ Recommendations:

  • The paper proposes that UNDRIP principles be embedded into the central structures to be designed and negotiated under the Treaty Act, in particular the Treaty Negotiation Framework (Framework) and the Treaty Authority. This could be done by including within the Framework a negotiation protocol based on the UNDRIP principles. Further these principles, along with an objective of implementation, could be included in the foundational documents of the Treaty Authority, a body intended to act as a neutral facilitator – or umpire – during negotiations between Traditional Owners and the State.
  • Whether the entirety of the UNDRIP could be adopted in its entirety, or if it is more appropriate to only adopt some specific rights is a matter for negotiations. However, a treaty could include provisions stating that Traditional Owner groups have a right to: self-determination; self-government; practice and revitalise cultural traditions and customs; and maintain and strengthen distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions.
  • Ideally treaties, both state-wide and local, should not simply recognise undefined rights. Instead, it should recognise UNDRIP rights by reference to real and implementable building blocks, which result in the transfer of decision-making and revenue generating powers. These practical measures should then be recognised as the minimum obligations the State needs to meet in order to fulfil its obligations to allow for the realisation of the broader and underlying UNDRIP right.


Publication Details
Access Rights Type: