Reinstatement Of Racial Discrimination Act A Welcome Move

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26th November 2009, 01:11pm - Views: 805

Media Release

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19 Torrens St Braddon

ACT 1612 || GPO Box 1989

Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone +61 2 6246 3788

Facsimilie +61 2 6248 0639


26 November 2009

Reinstatement of the Racial

Discrimination Act a Welcome Move 

The Law Council says the introduction of legislation to reinstate the

Racial Discrimination Act

(RDA) under the NT Intervention means

Aboriginal people can once again look forward to




Law Council President John Corcoran


“The restoration of

fundamental rights for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory is long




is an important step forward in ensuring

the NT Intervention meets Australia’s international obligations.”

“It is also an acknowledgment that suspending the RDA has never been

necessary to address poor social conditions in Aboriginal communities,”

Mr Corcoran said.  

However, the Law Council cautioned against characterising

discriminatory measures as “special measures”. 

“Discrimination can only be authorised under the RDA if done after

consultation with, and consent of, Aboriginal people

affected.  This is

particularly the case where the measures negatively impact on the

people concerned,” Mr Corcoran said.

“The Law Council intends to carefully scrutinise the proposed

amendments, to ensure all discriminatory aspects have been addressed. 

It is important that the Government avoids indirect discrimination against


particularly if the key criterion for an expanded, compulsory

income management scheme is socio-economic disadvantage.” 

“It has always been the Law Council’s view that if the Intervention is to

be successful, Indigenous people must play a primary role in its design

and implementation.


restoration of the RDA is a fundamental first

step towards that objective,” Mr Corcoran concluded.

Media Contact:

Elenore Eriksson, Director Public Affairs 

P. 02 6246 3716 || M. 0419 269 855

The Law Council of Australia exists to represent the legal

profession at the national level, to speak on behalf of its

constituent bodies on national issues, and to promote the

administration of justice, access to justice and general

improvement of the law.

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