Aboriginality Under the Microscope: The Biological Descent Test in Australian Law
AbstractIn order to access statutory rights and privileges designed for the exclusive benefit of indigenous people, Aboriginal people must prove their Aboriginal descent. Descent is judicially interpreted to mean genetic difference. Analyses of the human genome demonstrate that all humans are closely related and that race as a single definable genetic characteristic does not exist. Australian Aboriginal populations are among the most ancient and genetically diverse in the world, therefore there is no way of identifying a distinctly Aboriginal genotype. This paper argues that the present legal test is both unprovable and infringes international human rights.
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