Commercial Exploitation of Native Title Rights - A Possible Tool in the Quest for Substantive Equality for Indigenous Australians?

40 Pages Posted: 26 May 2012 Last revised: 31 Aug 2012

See all articles by Anne Hewitt

Anne Hewitt

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Date Written: May 23, 2012

Abstract

The Native title has the potential to be an important tool in achieving substantive equality for Indigenous peoples in Australia. However, as currently formulated, it is an extremely restricted and fragile right, which has often been extinguished by inconsistent use and (where it can be established) only permits holders limited privileges in relation to traditional lands. This article considers the current scope for commercial exploitation of native title rights in Australia. It proposes expanding the circumstances in which commercial exploitation of native title rights by Indigenous peoples is possible. This could be achieved by a combination of removing the limitation on native title to pre-sovereignty rights recognised by the common law, reconsidering the requirement of exclusive possession, and by the adoption of a more generous position regarding evidence of traditional commercial exploitation. The article will then consider the possibilities for regulating commercial exploitation of resources by native title holders.

Keywords: Native title, Australia

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Hewitt, Anne, Commercial Exploitation of Native Title Rights - A Possible Tool in the Quest for Substantive Equality for Indigenous Australians? (May 23, 2012). U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2012-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2065182

Anne Hewitt (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

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