In 2018, the State of Victoria passed legislation establishing the legal framework for an Indigenous representative body with which the state could negotiate a treaty.  This led to the 2019 Victoria First Peoples Assembly election, where all 21 members of the First Peoples Assembly were elected. The right to self-determination, as it applies to indigenous peoples, is further explained in article 3 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of this right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. In addition to own or community governance, there is also organizational governance and government governance. Self-determination has two aspects, internal and external. Internal self-determination is the right of the people of a State to govern themselves without outside interference. External self-determination was the right of peoples to determine their own political status and to be free from foreign domination, including the formation of their own independent State. However, independence was not the only possible outcome of the exercise of self-determination. In international law, the right to self-determination, recognized in the 1960s, was interpreted as the right of all colonial territories to become independent or to assume any other status they freely chose.
Ethnic or other distinct groups within settlements do not have the right to separate from the “people” of the territory as a whole. Today, the right of groups to govern themselves is increasingly linked to human rights standards, in particular the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples. Although the right to secession has not yet been recognized by international law, it is possible that such a right will be accepted as an extraordinary measure in the future if a particular group of people is systematically denied the right to participate in the government of the State, or if individuals within such a group suffer systematic and flagrant violations of human rights that make their participation in that State impossible. The right to self-determination under international law at best engendered a right to external self-determination in situations of former colonies; when a people is oppressed, for example under foreign military occupation; or when a definable group is denied meaningful access to government in order to advance its political, economic, social and cultural development. In all three situations, the persons concerned are entitled to external self-determination because they have not had the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination at the internal level. Such exceptional circumstances obviously do not apply to Quebec under the current conditions.  The United Nations and state practice up to the 1990s show that the international community has so far recognized only a very limited right to self-determination, which includes (1) freedom from a former colonial power and, once independence is achieved, (2) the freedom of the entire population of the state from foreign intervention or undue influence. Although the latter thesis is sometimes formulated as freedom from colonial, foreign or alien domination, in practice it has been successfully asserted only in cases of actual invasion by foreign forces. Whether in the context of decolonization (e.g.
Katanga, Biafra) or after independence, there is no legal support for the thesis that the right to self-determination includes the right of a region of a State to secede from that State. This conclusion was confirmed in 1996 by the General Comment of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and repeated in 1998 when the Supreme Court of Canada (in a scientific opinion on the possible existence of a right of Quebec to unilaterally secede from Canada) stated: The system of government created under the Constitution of the Commonwealth, implies the exercise of the right to self-determination by all Australian people. This includes self-determination and the right of all peoples “freely to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” (article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). Self-determination is a collective right (belonging to a “people” as a group) and not an individual right. Indigenous peoples` claim to the right to self-determination raises two issues: 6. The negative effects of past government policies are still felt by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These guidelines were often implemented with little consultation and, in most cases, did not reflect the ideals and views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In supporting the principles of self-determination, it is important that Social Services staff consult regularly with their Aboriginal community to: 1.
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