25 September 2018

BOOK: Dylan LINO, Constitutional Recognition - First Peoples and the Australian Settler S tate (Leichardt: The Federation Press, 2018). ISBN 9781760021818, $45.00

(Source: Federation Press)

The Federation Press has published a book on indigenous constitutional recognition in Australia.


When Australians today debate how to achieve a just postcolonial relationship with the First Peoples of the continent, they typically do so using the language of ‘constitutional recognition’. The idea of constitutional recognition has become the subject of community forums and nationwide inquiries, street protests and prime ministerial speeches. Dylan Lino’s book provides the first comprehensive study of Indigenous constitutional recognition in Australia.

Offering more than a legal analysis, Lino places the idea of constitutional recognition into a broader historical and theoretical perspective. After recounting the history of Australian debates on Indigenous recognition, the book presents an account that views constitutional recognition in terms of Indigenous peoples’ struggles to have their identities respected within the settler constitutional order. When studied in this way, constitutional recognition emerges not as a postcolonial endpoint but as an ongoing process of renegotiating the basic Indigenous–settler political relationship.

With First Peoples continuing to press for the recognition of their sovereignty and peoplehood, this book will be a definitive reference point for scholars, advocates, policy-makers and the interested 


Dylan Lino is a Lecturer at the University of Western Australia Law School. His research focuses on the rights of Indigenous peoples, constitutional law and theory, and legal history. He holds degrees in Arts and Law (with Honours) from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Laws from Harvard University and a PhD from Melbourne Law School. In 2017, Dylan worked as a legal adviser to the Commonwealth Government’s Referendum Council, whose work led to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.


Foreword by Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, UNSW
1.  Introduction
2. The Constitutional Politics of Indigenous Recognition in Australia, 1979–2018
3.  Conceptualising Constitutional Recognition
4.  Constitutionalising Indigenous Recognition
5.  The Incompleteness of Indigenous Constitutional Recognition: Learning from 1967
6.  Indigenous Constitutional Recognition and Racial Discrimination: Learning from 1975
7.  Constitutionally Recognising Indigenous Peoplehood: Towards Indigenous–Settler Federalism
8.  Conclusion

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