DUAO - 2013 - Vol 38(2)

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Developments around the country

DownUnderAllOver is a round-up of legal news from both State and federal jurisdictions, and contains topical articles and short pieces from Alternative Law Journal committees around the country.

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Act for Indigenous Recognition

Melissa Castan
Federal

On 27 March 2013, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Act 2013 received royal assent. Following passage through the House of Representatives on 13 February 2013, the fifth anniversary of the Apology to the stolen generations, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin asserted that this was an ‘important step towards recognising Indigenous people in Australia’s Constitution’ and ‘an opportunity for Parliament to show its support and commitment to constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples’.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 127

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Sri Lanka called on to address war crimes allegations

Madeleine Forster
Human Rights

In late March 2013 the UN Human Rights Council passed a US-backed resolution calling on Sri Lanka to honour the commitments it previously made to investigate widespread allegations of war crimes during the last months of the civil war in 2009. The resolution also raised formal concerns about continuing enforced disappearances, human rights abuses and other threats to the rule of law in Sri Lanka, including the recent impeachment of the Chief Justice.

Australia elected to co-sponsor the resolution.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 127

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Positive steps towards equality for the LGBTI community

Madeleine Forster
Human Rights

In 2011 the Australian government committed to consolidating Australia’s existing patchwork of federal anti-discrimination laws to improve protection for vulnerable Australians as part of the National Human Rights Action Plan. (See Vol 36(4) as background.)

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 127

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Senate Committee considers justice reinvestment

Madeleine Forster
Human Rights

In 2010, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that Australia ‘adopt a justice reinvestment strategy, continuing and increasing the use of Indigenous courts and conciliation mechanisms, diversionary and prevention programs and restorative justice strategies’.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 127

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