This chapter examines how the apology of the Australian government to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia for laws which resulted in their forced separation from their families assumed that the State possessed the power to pass the laws. As a result, the apology was limited to expressing sorrow for the consequences of the laws of removal, and in no way intimated that the State might have lacked the power to pass them. The laws were acknowledged to be bad, even evil in their conception, but they remained, according to the terms of the apology, compatible with the fundamental principle of the rule of law that sustains parliamentary government. By construing the laws in this way, the Australian government was able to preserve its sovereign power.
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