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Professor Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture by Professor Megan Davis

  • Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Courts Building 119 North Quay Brisbane City, QLD, 4000 Australia (map)

We are delighted that this year Professor Megan Davis will give the Professor Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture.  The 2017 Lecture will cover "The United Nations, Indigenous Peoples and Australia: Why Australia is an international outlier on indigenous peoples rights". 

Internationally Australia is a high income country; affluent, peaceful with a strong and effective rule of law. However on the situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' and the recognition of Indigenous peoples rights, Australia is an outlier among comparative western liberal democratic states. And on structural accommodation Australia lags behind both developed and developing countries. One of the reasons for this is the failure to acknowledge and address the original grievance: the dispossession of Aboriginal peoples and the lack of recognition of pre- existing property rights and the authority structures of Aboriginal people. This lecture will analyse the paucity of Indigenous rights in Australia and how international norms and comparative Indigenous constitutional rights informed the historic constitutional dialogues and the Uluru national constitutional convention outcome on 26 May 2017.

Professor Davis is an Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court. Professor Davis is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a member of the NSW Sentencing Council. She is the Chair and UN expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and holds portfolios including Administration of Justice and Gender and Women and is the focal point for UN Women and UN AIDS.  Professor Davis was the Rapporteur of the UN EGM on an Optional Protocol to the UNDRIP in 2015 as well as the author of a UNPFII study on a supervisory mechanism for UNDRIP (2014). She was also the UN Rapporteur for the International Expert Group Meeting on Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Rapporteur for the International EGM on Indigenous Youth.

Professor Davis researches in public law and public international law. Her current research focuses on constitutional design, democratic theory and Indigenous peoples. Megan is one of the CIs in an ARC project on the impact of extra-legal factors on the sentencing of Indigenous offenders of sexual abuse of Aboriginal women in the Northern Territory.

To register your RSVP, please email by Wednesday, 16 August 2017