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Lawyers ideally placed to ensure public understands Voice to Parliament

Native Title & Public Interest Law
Uluru Statement hi res min
Senior partner Mark Leibler features in an article published today by Lawyers Weekly on the role lawyers can play in advocating for the First Nations Voice to parliament.

Reporter Jess Feyder writes that support for the Voice across the legal profession has seen a number of law firms, professional bodies and education institutions engaging in the campaign leading up to a referendum. Describing Mark as a “long-time Indigenous rights advocate”, she notes that he was one of the few non-Indigenous Australians invited to attend the closing ceremony of the National Constitutional Convention in May 2017, where the Uluru Statement from the Heart was endorsed.

“I know that the First Nations Voice is the only model of recognition supported by Indigenous people themselves,” Mark told her. “It is moderate yet meaningful and, as the central recommendation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, it would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander peoples the opportunity to influence laws and policies that affect their lives - lives that, on average, remain poorer, sicker, harder and shorter than the lives of other Australians.

“The legal profession is ideally placed to work towards ensuring the Australian public understands what the Voice is and what it isn’t. We should use every opportunity available to explain to colleagues, clients, family, and friends that the Voice will pose no risk to the smooth running of the Parliament, and the detail around its form and function will be determined by the Parliament. 

“The Voice will have both symbolic and practical value because it will give Indigenous Australians greater influence over policies that affect them.”

To read the full article, click here.

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