Recognising that, as a community of legal scholars and students, we have a moral duty to express our concern, from a justice perspective, regarding the treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and to commit ourselves to truth-telling and to educating students about Australia’s First Nations and First Nations law.
Affirming that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have the right to self-determination under international law, including Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, and Article 3 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Acknowledging that, both before and since Federation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ appeals for self-determination have not been adequately recognised or responded to.
Recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and that sovereignty was never ceded or extinguished and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
Acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have suffered, and continue to suffer, injustice and disadvantage, including in their relations with the laws and legal systems of the Commonwealth, States and Territories.
Affirming that ensuring justice for all is critical to The University of Sydney Law School’s core functions of research, teaching and community engagement.
Recognising the indispensable role of law and legal institutions in ensuring self-determination and recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Emphasising the vital contribution that law teachers and researchers will need to make in Makarrata (‘the coming together after a struggle’), including in informing the making of agreements between governments and First Nations and in encouraging processes of truth-telling.
Supporting the development and implementation of The University of Sydney Law School Strategy 2020-25: Reimagining Sydney Law School and The University of Sydney’s One Sydney, Many People Strategy.
Banner image credit: ‘Yanhambabirra Burambabirra Yalbailinya (Come, Share and Learn) 2020 by Luke Penrith for the One Sydney Many People Strategy.