Tides of history and jurisprudential gulfs: Native title proof and the Noongar Western Australia claim

Article


Young, Simon. 2010. "Tides of history and jurisprudential gulfs: Native title proof and the Noongar Western Australia claim." Indigenous Law Journal. 8 (1), pp. 95-120.
Article Title

Tides of history and jurisprudential gulfs: Native title proof and the Noongar Western Australia claim

ERA Journal ID33891
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorYoung, Simon
Journal TitleIndigenous Law Journal
Journal Citation8 (1), pp. 95-120
Number of Pages26
Year2010
Place of PublicationWaterloo, ON. Canada
ISSN1703-4566
Web Address (URL)http://www.indigenouslawjournal.org/indigenouslawjournal.com/images/stories/docs/vol8/ILJ-v8-Young.pdf
Abstract

Recent native title litigation in Australia, over the important Noongar claim to areas in the south west of the country, highlight some persistent difficulties and troubling trends in Australian native title law. The Federal Court trial and appeal decisions (of 2006 and 2008 respectively) provide telling confirmation that the Australian approach to proof of native title entitlement is a mix of foundational ambiguity, theoretical complexity, moral controversy and practical uncertainty. This article traces the development of the relevant principles in Australian law, up to and including the dissonant Noongar decisions, and advances some potential doctrinal clarifications. It also seeks to underline the risk that prolonged litigation in this field can be an expensive and unhelpful distraction from meaningful progress.

KeywordsAustralia; indigenous land rights; traditional owners; Federal Court decision; ambiguity
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480604. Property law (excl. intellectual property law)
450599. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, society and community not elsewhere classified
480410. Legal theory, jurisprudence and legal interpretation
Public Notes

This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Western Australia
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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