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Discussion paper
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Constitutional enshrinement of a First Nations Voice: the constitutional amendment

Issues paper 1
Uluru Statement Voice to Parliament Constitutional reform First Peoples constitutional recognition Australia

As part of accepting the invitation for reform in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the Australian government has committed to a referendum on whether to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution through an enshrined First Nations voice. The Indigenous Law Centre (UNSW) has released three issues papers, addressing critical matters in the lead up to the referendum. 

In this issues paper, the authors address issues that must be resolved prior to settling the constitutional amendment to be put to voters at a referendum. To do that, they identify a set of principles. These include that the provision must be drafted with its purpose in mind, and use clear and simple words to give effect to that purpose. The purpose of the provision is to constitutionally recognise First Nations people, in the manner sought in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The provision must also be drafted with constitutional prudence and coherency in mind. Using these principles, the authors respond to the issues identified and set out a draft constitutional amendment for further consideration that builds upon the draft amendment released by the Prime Minister on 30 July 2022.

Related Information

Constitutional enshrinement of a First Nations Voice: the referendum question

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