Letter to The Editor - High Court Judicial Adventurers
to THE AGE
As James Paterson notes (‘Radical approach to Indigenous recognition will fail’, 25/7), the Referendum Council’s recommendations have 'far-reaching implications for all of us.’ He does not, however, seem to have grasped the problems associated with the proposal for a ‘declaration of recognition.’ From one point of view, why do we need an official statement of the obvious? On the other hand, is it so obvious? Government should be wary of making historical assertions about controversial matters. That’s the stuff of totalitarianism. There is some doubt as to whether our Aboriginals really were the ‘first people’ on this continent or whether they displaced an earlier group. Then again, no present-day Aboriginals existed in time before other present-day Australians.
And who knows what radical implications future High Court judicial adventurers might claim to read into even the declaration’s seemingly innocuous statement about ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’?
NJ, Belgrave, Vic