A History of the Failure of Indigenous Policy in Australia Event as iCalendar

(Faculty of Law events)

18 July 2017

Date Tuesday 18 July
Time 12 - 1pm
Room 040C, Level 0, Own G Glenn Building
RSVP h.ostik@auckland.ac.nz

A public lecture by Professor Julie Cassidy, Commercial Law

Julie Cassidy


June this year marked the 25th anniversary of the landmark decision Mabo v Queensland ((1992) 175 CLR 1) acknowledging, inter alia, the pre-existence of Indigenous Australians, thereby overturning 200 years of jurisprudence to the contrary. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, one of the few successful referenda on the amendment of the Constitution that saw s 127 removed from the Commonwealth Constitution. The effect of the removal of s 127 was that Indigenous peoples of Australia were recognised as being Australian persons for the purposes of censuses.

This seminar provides an analysis of the key Indigenous policy phases since colonization in Australia. It demonstrates that, apart from a brief period of self-determination based policy, these policy phases have been based on notions of cultural superiority, paternalism, racial discrimination, government control of the lives of Indigenous Australians and varying degrees of lack of respect for Indigenous culture and rights. The seminar will focus in particular on the continuing struggle for the recognition and promotion of Indigenous rights through constitutional reform.


Julie Cassidy (LLB (Hons) (Adel), PhD (Bond)) is Professor of Law at the Commercial Law Department at the University of Auckland. She both teaches and researches in taxation and corporations law, but in addition is passionate about human rights. She has an extensive research record of publications in the latter area, particularly in regard to Indigenous rights. She has published in A and A* ranked (or equivalent) journals such as Australian Tax Forum, Ottawa Law Journal, South African Law Journal, American Journal of Comparative and International Law, Griffith Law Review and New Zealand Law Review and other leading international journals, such as Oxford Journal of Legal History, International Legal Perspectives Journal and Indiana International and Comparative Law Review. A number of these publications stem from her doctorate thesis in which she contended that customary international law recognises and protects aboriginal title.

For more information contact:

A light lunch is to be provided so please RSVP to Huigenia for catering purposes.

Huigena Ostik

Ext. 87656

Email: h.ostik@auckland.ac.nz