Constitutional body could alleviate racial discrimination

A UNIVERSITY professor says changing the constitution to create an indigenous representative body will help laws and policies be better targeted and more effective in resolving problems Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders face.

University of Sydney's constitutional law professor Anne Twomey said changes to the constitution, which indigenous leader Noel Pearson and the Cape York Institute proposed, were not about creating an indigenous House of Lords.

Instead, she said it was about consulting indigenous Australians about laws that affected them and letting their views be heard.

Prof Twomey said it opened up the prospect that laws and policies would be more effective.

"It is therefore an active form of recognition, rather than a passive and merely symbolic one," she said.

"It is also an ongoing form of recognition, not just words on a page of a document rarely read and soon forgotten."