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Indigenous Autonomy in Australia?
Developments and Challenges of Aboriginal Self-Governance

The Aboriginal People of Australia are arguably the most ancient of contemporary Indigenous peoples. Their ancestry, laws, customs and traditions extend over an uninterrupted period exceeding 60,000 years. Their influence in Australia’s political life, however, is fragile. Aboriginal People have for many years attempted, without success, to enhance their political voice. The debate in Australia about self-government and co-government by Aboriginal people is becoming more relevant than ever. Most recently, recommendations have been made by a parliamentary committee in Australia for a “Voice” to be created whereby Aboriginal people can elect representatives to speak on their behalf and to give advice to the national government. In the course of this lecture, Professor De Villiers will speak about the past experiences of Australia with advisory bodies, he will highlight some of the challenges that are faced by the current proposals, and he will reflect on options for self-government that are pursued by Aboriginal communities at a local level. 

Bertus de Villiers is an Adjunct Professor of the Law School of Curtin University (Australia) and Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Law School of the University of Johannesburg (South Africa). Professor De Villiers has published extensively on a wide range of topics dealing with federalism, minority rights and administrative law. In Australia he has had extensive involvement as jurist and academic in land rights of Aboriginal people. 

The conference will be held in English (no interpretation provided).
After the lecture, a small buffet will be offered.
For further information: minority.rights@eurac.edu, Tel. 0471 055200

Appointment: 13th February 2019, 6.30 pm, Eurac Research
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