Effectiveness of Law Reform

Topics: Australia, Native title, Indigenous Australians Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: February 24, 2012
Evaluate the Effectiveness of Law Reform in Australia
Law Reform in Australia is effective in varying degrees. Through Native Title Reform and Law Reform in Sport, the effectiveness of Law Reform in Australia is further outlined. The term ‘Native Title’ refers to the right of Indigenous people to their traditional land. In Australia it has a legal significance of the right to an area of land, claimed by people whose ancestors were the original inhabitants of the land before European settlement. Also who can prove that they have had a continuous connection with the land. Native Title is the term given by the High Court to Indigenous land rights by the Court in Mabo and others v State of Queensland (No.2) [1992] HCA 23. The case required the High Court to consider the legality of the ‘doctrine of terra nullius’ – land belonging to no one. This was the legal concept of that when the first Europeans came to Australia the land was owned by no one and thus was open to settlement. The High Court ruled in favour of Mabo and overturned the concept of ‘terra nullius’. This effectively resulted in the introduction of native title legislation to Australia. The 1967 Referendum in Australia resulted in two cases of law reform. Section 51 (xxvi) of the Constitution did not allow Indigenous people to vote and Section 127 did not allow Indigenous people to be counted in the Australian census. The referendum became a symbol of the public recognition of the rights of Indigenous Australians, and its success reflects this change in attitudes and beliefs that was taking place over the 1960’s. Over 90 per cent of the population voted ‘yes’ on the amendments to the Constitution. Section 51 (xxvi) was amended to allow the federal government to legislate for Indigenous people and to override any discriminatory state laws. Section 127 was completely removed. As a result of this, law reform in Australia is very effective. There has been progress in the area of law reform relating to...
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