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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2040550
 
 

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A Referendum on Indigenous Constitutional Recognition – What are the Chances?


Helen Irving


University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

April 15, 2012

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/21

Abstract:     
The Report of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians was presented to the Prime Minister in January this year. It includes many recommendations for constitutional change as well as for the referendum process. The Panel is emphatic that ‘achieving a successful referendum outcome should be the primary consideration of the Government and Parliament.’ Despite this, the Report devotes surprisingly modest attention to the history of Australia’s referendums. From what we know of the record, however, the Report’s confidence that its recommendations ‘are capable of succeeding’ is questionable. This paper considers the record, and concludes that the government would be unwise to put the Panel’s recommendations - at least in their current form - to a referendum.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Constitutional alteration, Indigenous recognition, Australian referendums

JEL Classification: K10, K30

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Date posted: April 17, 2012 ; Last revised: October 21, 2014

Suggested Citation

Irving, Helen, A Referendum on Indigenous Constitutional Recognition – What are the Chances? (April 15, 2012). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/21. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2040550

Contact Information

Helen Irving (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
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