Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2144583
 


 



Excluding Indigenous Australians from ‘The People’: A Reconsideration of Sections 25 and 127 of the Constitution


Elisa Arcioni


The University of Sydney Law School

2012

Federal Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2012
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/67

Abstract:     
Until 1967, Indigenous Australians were excluded from being counted as amongst ‘the people’ in the Australian Constitution by s 127. That section was deleted by referendum. However, s 25 remains in the Constitution, and it allows for the reintroduction of such exclusion. This article is a detailed reconsideration of both sections in light of an understanding of ‘the people’ as a reference to the constitutional community represented by the Parliament. Exclusion of Indigenous Australians prior to 1967 is considered, highlighting the way in which s 127 operated. Then, the position post-1967 is addressed to show that the deletion of s 127 did not result in equality because s 25 continues to provide for racial exclusion. This article argues that this ongoing possibility of exclusion by s 25 affects the nature of the Australian constitutional community, by indicating that it can be racially discriminatory.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: indigenous Australians, constitutional identity, the people, Australian Constitution - ss 25 and 127, representative government

JEL Classification: K10, K30


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Date posted: September 12, 2012 ; Last revised: September 4, 2013

Suggested Citation

Arcioni, Elisa, Excluding Indigenous Australians from ‘The People’: A Reconsideration of Sections 25 and 127 of the Constitution (2012). Federal Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2012; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/67. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2144583

Contact Information

Elisa Arcioni (Contact Author)
The University of Sydney Law School ( email )
New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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