On 29 November 2012, the Social Justice Report (the Report) was tabled in Federal Parliament along with the Native Title Report. The Reports were prepared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda. The Social Justice Report considers major issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs over the past year, and includes recommendations as to the actions that should be taken to ensure the exercise and enjoyment of human rights by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Report focuses on governance and what enables effective, legitimate and culturally relevant governance in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Among the issues addressed by the Report is respect for and protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples culture. The Report makes a number of recommendations to the Australian Government to that effect, including:
- the engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop a strategy for implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),
- the commitment of ongoing funding support for the international engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to advocate for their human rights, and
- the inclusion of UNDRIP in the definition of human rights in the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.
The Social Justice Report 2012 can be viewed here.
Arts Law strongly advocates for legal recognition of the cultural heritage rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and, in particular, Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights.
For more information see Arts Law's Indigenous Issues advocacy page and view the following Arts Law submissions and articles:
- Arts Law submission in response to the Indigenous Heritage Law Reform Discussion Paper
- Arts Law article for WIPO Magazine: Safeguarding Cultural Heritage – The Case of the Sacred Wandjina
- Arts Law submission to IP Australia re: Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property
- Arts Law goes to Geneva and WIPO
- Arts Law comment on the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2012