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Key developments

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Voice proposal 
  • Agricultural Land Use Planning Strategy 
  • Taxation of granny flat arrangements
  • NSW Law Reform Commission – Open Justice review
  • Restrictive practices for persons with disability
  • Exposure Draft of the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Bill 2020
  • Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020
  • ALRC Review of Judicial Impartiality 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Voice proposal 

The Indigenous Issues Committee contributed to a submission to the Law Council on the second stage of the Indigenous Voice Co-Design Process. The submission focused on the proposals as they relate to the National Voice to Parliament (‘Voice’). 

The Law Society’s view is that it is for Indigenous communities to determine issues in respect of the Local and Regional Voices. In our view, it is also a matter for Indigenous communities to determine issues of membership of the National Voice, and of Local and Regional Voices. We agree with the Law Council’s view that constitutional entrenchment of the Voice is of paramount importance. 

In the submission, the Law Society stated that the critical goal underlying the creation of all levels of the Voice is to give life to the right to self-determination. The Law Society agrees with the Law Council that proposals in respect of the Voice should expressly articulate the expectation that the Australian Government would seek to obtain the free, prior, and informed consent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples before implementing laws that substantially or disproportionately affect them. The submission noted that the current proposal for consultation with the Voice is too narrow.

The Law Society stated that close consideration should be given to the timing of when the obligation to consult is triggered in the legislative and policy process, with a view to ensuring that the Voice does in fact have the opportunity to substantively speak for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the process, at all relevant times.

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