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Abstract from

Closing the Gap between Policy and ‘Law’ – Indigenous Homelands and a Working Future

Marcelle Burns (BA/LLB (Hons)) (GDLP) is a Lecturer in the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology.

This article will first outline details about the homelands movement and the views of its critics and proponents. It will progress to an examination of the policy objectives of Closing the Gap and Working Future and how notions of formal equality are implicit in both policies. Thirdly, current Indigenous homelands policy, as articulated by the COAG and the NT Government, will be critically reviewed. Fourthly, particular rights of Indigenous peoples under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) will be employed to inform an analysis of Indigenous homelands policies from a human rights perspective. Finally, the author will draw conclusions from the analysis to show how the Working Future policy promotes the assimilation of Indigenous Australians, contrary to international human rights norms.

(2009) 27(2) Law in Context 114

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