Native Title in Coastal and Marine Waters
Australian Coastal and Marine Law, 2011
26 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2015
Date Written: 2011
This chapter examines the common law and statutory principles that regulate the recognition and enforcement of native title rights and interests within coastal and marine waters. The Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) gives statutory recognition to the common law concept of native title and specifically extends its application to offshore areas. This means that native title rights and interests are capable of being recognised in coastal waters,1 the continental shelf and in any waters over which Australia asserts sovereignty in accordance with the Seas and Submerged Land Act 1973 (Cth).2 The recognition of native title right and interests within these maritime areas is dependent upon the claim satisfying the statutory elements set out in s 223(1) of the Native Title Act. This basically requires claimants to satisfy two core elements. The first is to establish that the rights and interests claimed connect to the laws and customs practised by pre-sovereignty normative communities and that these laws and customs continue to be practised, subject to reasonable adaptations, by the descendants of such communities over the claimed area.
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