A Critical Analysis Of Zia Akhtar 's Article ' Aboriginal Determination

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A treaty should not be seen as an alternative to constitutional recognition. Though, a reform of the constitution itself will only yield a partial resolution for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – due to its symbolic nature. A critical analysis of Zia Akhtar’s article, ‘Aboriginal Determination: Native Title Claims and Barriers to Recognition’, will emphasise the importance of recognition and self-determination to the Indigenous. This essay will explore the notions that reconciliation is more achievable through constitutional recognition and treaty together, that changes must be made to the Australian Constitution, particularly sections 25 and 51 (xxvi), and how the Native Title (Amendment) Act has hindered recognition and determination in a variety of ways.

Constitutional recognition alone is not sufficient, as a preamble is tokenistic in nature. Thus, it is necessary that more tangible insertions be made to the body of the Constitution in addition to a preamble acknowledging Aboriginals. Akhtar’s article emphasises a necessity for constitutional change by stating that constitutional guarantees should be introduced to provide Indigenous Australian’s with enforceable rights that guarantee equality. Despite this, there is no suggestion by Akhtar to include both. The inclusion of both is vital, as although the preamble is symbolic and does not invoke physical change, it would be a formal acknowledgement of Aboriginals as the original inhabitants and custodians of the

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