Human rights imperatives and the failings of the Stronger Futures consultation process

Lexis Nexis Butterworths
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Human Rights, 2012, 18 (2), pp. 21 - 43
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In 2011, the Australian federal government embarked on a consultation process intended to advance its policy agenda with regard to Indigenous peoples in the Northern Territory. This article examines the conduct of these consultations. It begins by examining the significance of consultation within human rights discourse, before examining the specific concerns associated with the 2011 consultation. We argue that, from this perspective, the Stronger Futures consultations were seriously inadequate, to the extent that the legitimacy and legality of the Stronger Futures legislative package must be called into question. Further, the article concludes that an inadequate consultation process, such as this, may actually do further damage to the already problematic relationship that exists between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian government.
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