The Uluru Statement and its two concepts of sovereignty

Professor Mark G. Brett FAHA, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Whitley College, this week published an opinion piece on the ABC Religion and Ethics website.

The piece, entitled “The Uluru Statement and its two concepts of sovereignty”, looks at the spiritual concept of sovereignty in the Uluru Statement from the Heart – as distinct from the concept of the sovereignty of the Crown – and explores the implications of the term’s uses and origins in legal and theological contexts. Mark writes;

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart quotes a spiritual definition of sovereignty, which is contrasted with the sovereignty of the Crown. But given the dozens of the definitions that may have been relevant, why was this particular form of words chosen? …  There is a chain of citations at issue here: the wording was crafted by Judge Fouad Ammoun in the Western Sahara case in 1975 (himself summarising a contribution from another lawyer, Bayona-Ba-Meya from Zaire), then cited by Justice Brennan in Mabo in 1992, then adapted for its use in the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017. There would have been some legal motivations in 2017 for adapting a definition from Mabo, but here I want to explore some further implications of the Western Sahara case”.

The full article can be accessed here.

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