The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, have called on the Human Rights Council to encourage nation states like Australia, to implement the United Nations Declararation on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
It's one of four recommendations presented to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - an advisory body established by the HRC on Indigenous Peoples - and its study on the issue of access to justice for First Nations people.
"Access to justice for Indigenous peoples must be about how we can use both Indigenous and Western systems of justice to ensure the greatest possible quality of life for all Indigenous Peoples’, which is highlighted at Article 5 of the Declaration," says NATSIL chair, Shane Duffy who attended the Expert Mechanism sixth session at Geneva in mid-July.
The remaining three recommendations presented were:
The HRC request the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to undertake a practical analysis on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as it relates to special measures and the requirement to obtain free, prior and informed consent;
The HRC encourage States to take a strategic approach to crime and justice which is informed by standardised data collection and focused on prevention and diversion as well as protection and rehabilitation; and that States consider the adoption of Justice Reinvestment as a way of reducing incarceration of Indigenous peoples; and
The HRC encourage States to provide appropriate financial and technical support for Indigenous organisations to provide legal services, including community legal education and policy and law reform advice; and ensure that non-Indigenous bodies and service providers respond appropriately to Indigenous justice needs.