Shireen Morris and Noel Pearson: Indigenous constitutional recognition
Abstract: This article argues that the purpose of constitutional recognition is predominantly practical, rather than just symbolic. The purpose is to positively reform the power relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Australian state, to empower Indigenous peoples and create a more mutually respectful relationship. The article examines the legal and political calculations involved in the main reform options. It explains why a purely symbolic or minimalist model for Indigenous constitutional recognition is likely to lead to referendum failure, and argues that the proposal for a constitutionally mandated Indigenous representative body presents the most viable path to referendum success.