Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Law Reform and the Return of the States
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for structural reform to Australia’s institutional framework to protect and promote their rights. In recent years, however, state and territory governments have proven more receptive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ advocacy than the Commonwealth. In this article, we identify and map the return of the states and territories — and the retreat of the Commonwealth — in Indigenous law reform. While substantial progress has been made, significant risks are involved in the pursuit of subnational reform. It remains imperative that the Commonwealth government meaningfully engage with the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as recorded in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.