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LAW7206 - Native title: courts, tribunals and communities

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Mr David Yarrow


Not offered in 2007


The common law concept of native title. The Native Title Act 1993 and complementary State legislation, with particular reference to mediation, negotiation and determination process, extinguishment of native title, compensation and future dealings with native title land. Comparison of native title and the rights provided to grantees under the various State and Territory land rights statutes, including the different provisions with respect to aboriginal control and consent to mining and development on aboriginal land. The various legislative regimes for the identification and protection of aboriginal cultural heritage and sacred sites on land not under aboriginal ownership.


Upon completion of this subject students should

  1. have a general understanding of the common law and statutory framework of interests in land held by, or able to be claimed by, Aboriginal persons and groups;
  2. have a detailed understanding of the nature and content of native title, and the evidentiary requirements and procedures for making claims;
  3. be able to differentiate between the incidents of native title and other forms of Aboriginal tenure, particularly rights with respect to mining and development;
  4. be able to compare the legal regimes for resolution of aboriginal land claims in Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand;
  5. be able to understand, evaluate and apply policy arguments for and against reform of the laws relating to Aboriginal rights and interests in land;
  6. know how to identify or find relevant principles, laws and precedents and apply them to resolve problems relating to Aboriginal land disputes;
  7. have further developed legal research and writing and legal argument skills by undertaking systematic research into legal policy, rules and procedures relating to Aboriginal interests in land; and
  8. have further developed skills of oral presentation of legal policy, rules and argument in an interactive seminar context.


Research paper (5000 words): 50%
Take-home examination or second research paper (5000 words): 50%

Contact hours

Intensive, 24 contact hours.