Essay Plan To The Major Essay
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.2 RUNNING HEAD AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS STUDIES
Essay Plan To The Major Essay
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TOC o 1-3 h z u HYPERLINK l _Toc20374025 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc20374025 h 3
HYPERLINK l _Toc20374026 Thesis Statement PAGEREF _Toc20374026 h 3
HYPERLINK l _Toc20374027 Discussion PAGEREF _Toc20374027 h 4
HYPERLINK l _Toc20374028 The legal framework suppressing the rights of Indigenous Australians PAGEREF _Toc20374028 h 4
HYPERLINK l _Toc20374029 Racial Discrimination and the Australian Constitution PAGEREF _Toc20374029 h 5
HYPERLINK l _Toc20374030 Discrimination despite the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 PAGEREF _Toc20374030 h 6
HYPERLINK l _Toc20374031 Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc20374031 h 7
HYPERLINK l _Toc20374032 References PAGEREF _Toc20374032 h 9
Essay Plan To The Major Essay
When the British colonized the Australian continent, the Indigenous Australians were treated poorly by them (Cane, 2014).
They had no form of society and stripped them off of land ownership and sovereignty
The Commonwealth Government was formed in 1901 it did not recognized their rights either.
Indigenous Australians did not contribute anything in the constitutional development in Australia, yet they have been subjected to discrimination of all sorts.
Although the enforcement of democracy in Australia resulted in a stable form of government, numerous legal frameworks within the Australian constitution undermine the rights of Indigenous Australians (Cane, 2014).
The political representatives and public constituencies did not defend the Indigenous Rights which exacerbated the matter further.
This paper intends to identify the legal frameworks within the Australian constitution that are against Indigenous rights. Moreover, some recent actions of successive Australian governments to subvert the Racial Discrimination Act, 1975 will be discussed.
The legal framework suppressing the rights of Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians have been living on the Australian continent for more than 45,000 years (Freeman, 2016).
When the British came and occupied Australia, history was completely disregarded by them.
The British declared complete sovereignty over the Australians continent in 1788 with no framework in place to give protection to the rights of Indigenous Australians.
The British imperial government declared Australia as a penal colony.
Indigenous Australians enjoyed no human rights, no civil rights, and could not claim any sovereignty over the land they have been living for thousands of years (Freeman, 2016).
The ideas and belief of Terra Nullius have been ingrained deeply in the Australian society.
The law enforced in Australia has been the source that has always denied the rights of Indigenous Australians.
In 1992, the Mabo decision tried to reconcile the enforced common law with the modern ideas of justice and international standards of human rights and reject the notion of terra nullius (Freeman, 2016).
Due to severe pressure, the High Court kept all land titles given by the Crown to all non-Indigenous lands.
This case is an example that cements the fact that there exists a legal framework that has been suppressing the rights of Indigenous Australians.
Racial Discrimination and the Australian Constitution
The Australian Constitution was formed when the six Australian colonies decided to unite at the end of the 19th Century (Cronin, 2017).
The lawmakers recognized the importance of military, trade, and commerce when the six self-governing states were unified at the end of the 19th Century.
Between 1890 and 1898, several meetings were held of the newly unified States, to come up with a draft Constitution which was later to be put at a referendum.
These meetings did not include the participation of any ethnic and Indigenous Australians
The Australian Constitution underpins promoting the leadership of Australians of British descendants only, While suppressing rights of Indigenous people.
The Constitution that was promulgated by the British Parliament in 1900 had only two references to Indigenous Australians.
Section 51 of the Constitution allowed the Parliament to promulgate any law regarding people of different races but Aboriginal race (Cronin, 2017).
Section 127 states that Commonwealth and State would not account native people in their census.
The purpose of these clauses was to limit Australian states so that they would not attain more seats than reserved in the Parliament of Commonwealth by using large Indigenous Australian populations living in respective states.
A referendum that was held in 1967 was based on the demand of Equality for Indigenous Australians.
The Referendum witnessed 90 of people in favour of equality for the Indigenous Australians. Moreover, the Referendum resulted in the elimination of Section 127 and the exclusion of words of an Aboriginal race from Section 51.
Following the Referendum, Commonwealth received the power that the States enjoyed concerning legislation that involved Indigenous Australians
However, the Referendum failed to solve the real issues of inequality the Indigenous Australians were facing and granting them any rights under the constitutions (Cronin, 2017).
The Australian Constitution miserably fails to render protection and giving recognition to the rights of Indigenous Australians.
Discrimination despite the Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Indigenous populations have to depend heavily on international human rights organizations to advocate for their rights.
Racial Discrimination Act (RDA), with its enforcement, became the first object that was accepted in the Commonwealth Parliament concerning human rights and anti-discrimination (Malaspinas et.al, 2016).
The RDA outlawed for every person to indulge in discriminatory behaviour based on nationality, ethnicity, or race.
However, The RDA has failed to put a curb on the acts of racial discrimination conducted against native people.
It has only proven to be vital in safeguarding the Indigenous Australians from the actions of Governments that are racially discriminating.
The RDA has not always protected the Indigenous Australians from racial discrimination because the Commonwealth Government still wields the power to abrogate the RDA at any moment (Malaspinas et.al, 2016).
In 1993, the Federal Labor Government was looking to validate some of the land titles issues during 1975 and 1993 by stopping the application of RDA by suspending its operation.
The Government undertook an approach called special measures after sever pressure
These are the measures taken positively to move forward the human rights of individuals hailing from any racial or ethnic groups.
This goes to show that RDA has not completely eliminated discrimination against the Indigenous Australians (Malaspinas et.al, 2016).
The reluctance of successive governments and courts, both historical and contemporary, shows the weaknesses of the Australian democratic system and government in a matter of recognition and protection of Indigenous rights (Pearson, 2014).
Australian democracy and constitutionalism have become a tool of majority populations to pursue their narrow self-interests only.
Indigenous Australians have never enjoyed significant political power or special constitutional status.
The resistance put up by the Indigenous Australians has been remarkable and can be witnessed in some of the recent processes that demanded recognition of the Indigenous Australians through the constitution.
Conservative elements, both in public and parliament, have expressed resolve to oppose any sort of action that would result in giving rights to Indigenous Australians in the Constitution (Pearson, 2014).
If this is the case, any process intended to grant Indigenous Australians constitutional rights is bound to fail and Indigenous Australians would continue to suffer.
Cane, S., 2014.First footprints the epic story of the first Australians. Allen Unwin.
Cronin, D., 2017. Trapped by history democracy, human rights and justice for indigenous people in Australia.Australian Journal of Human Rights,23(2), pp.220-241.
Freeman, D., 2016.The forgotten people liberal and conservative approaches to recognising Indigenous peoples. Random House Australia.
Malaspinas, A.S., Westaway, M.C., Muller, C., Sousa, V.C., Lao, O., Alves, I., Bergstrm, A., Athanasiadis, G., Cheng, J.Y., Crawford, J.E. and Heupink, T.H., 2016. A genomic history of Aboriginal Australia.Nature,538(7624), p.207.
Pearson, N., 2014. A rightful place Race, recognition and a more complete Commonwealth.Quarterly Essay, (55), p.1.
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