What is Constitutional Recognition of Australian First Peoples and would it clash with Treaties? | Law

What is Constitutional Recognition of Australian First Peoples and would it clash with Treaties?

Professor Megan Davis speaks to ABC Radio National (13 September 2016) regarding the possibility of a referendum on Indigenous recognition in our Constitution.

"There is a Referendum Council, of which I am a member, which is going through the process of consulting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about what recognition means to them. There is some anxiety about this process. That is to say, people would like the recognition to be something that is useful and is pragmatic, that may make a difference on the ground," Professor Davis said.

"There have been suggestions from a number of different people about what might be appropriate recognition. The first Aboriginal Senior Counsel or silk, Tony McAvoy, has a proposal for the creation of an assembly of first nations, which would provide a voice for the first nations of the country in the democratic life of the state. A similar model from the Cape York Institute has proposed the creation of a constitutionally entrenched body that, again, affords Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a kind of procedural mechanism by which they can participate in Australia's democratic life in a more active way than they participate at the moment. That proposal is aimed at being more active players in the democratic life of Australia."

Listen to the full interview or read the transcript here.