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“An obligation to right the wrongs of the past”: Mark Leibler tells the AJN

Native Title & Public Interest Law
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This week’s edition of The Australian Jewish News reports on the announcement by the Prime Minister of the referendum question on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, along with the wording of the constitutional amendment Australians will be asked to vote on later this year.

The article quotes senior partner Mark Leibler, who co-chaired both the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition and the Referendum Council that culminated in the release of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, describing the change as having huge protentional with an “almost zero” downside.

Mark emphasised that Australians will be asked to change the Constitution for the adoption of a principle only. The ensuing legislation, giving structure to the Voice mechanism, will be open to amendments as are any laws adopted by parliament.

“This proposal will not create a Bill of Rights-type situation,” he said. “The prospects of litigation which would in any way interfere with the parliament are absolutely minimal – and that much has certainly been confirmed by a number of former judges of the High Court.”

Commenting on the emotional media conference involving the Prime Minister and members of the Referendum Working Group, Mark praised Mr Albanese’s good will but said it applied equally to the Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians, Julian Leeser.

“I’m still hoping that the Opposition will come around,” he said.

To read the full article, click here.

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