Courting Controversy: The Constitution and Indigenous Australians

Wednesday, 12 October, 2011 - 17:30 to 19:00

The Prime Minister has convened an Expert Panel to lead broad consultations on the question of the constitutional recognition of indigenous people. The Expert Panel will report to Government in December 2011 and a constitutional referendum may follow.

In this seminar Melbourne Law School will take a fresh look at the issues raised by the Expert Panel's consultations in its Courting Controversy series, which provides a forum for the community to hear from public intellectuals who have taken a strong stand on an issue involving law and society.

Malcolm Fraser was Australia's twenty second Prime Minister, leading the nation from November 1975 to March 1983. Mr Fraser was influential in changing Australian relations abroad, both within the Commonwealth and with the countries of East and Southeast Asia. He was an adamant opponent of apartheid and a strong supporter of reform in South Africa. He also played a prominent part in the Commonwealth's efforts to establish an independent Zimbabwe.

Cheryl Saunders is a laureate professor and holds a personal chair in law. She teaches in both the JD and the MLM and is the founding Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. Professor Saunders has specialist interests in constitutional law and comparative public law, including federalism and intergovernmental relations and constitutional design and change, on all of which she has written widely.

Mark McMillan is Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Law School. He was previously a Researcher at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. In 2009 he received the Fulbright Indigenous Scholarship to undertake his SJD at the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona and in May 2010, Mr McMillan was appointed Staff Attorney, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program at the same institution. 

Venue: GM15, Melbourne Law School