While the concepts of Aboriginal title share a similar jurisprudence in Australia and Canada, development regimes on indigenous lands differ significantly. In 2004 the Canadian Supreme Court found that the Crown has a legal duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples about potential infringements of their Aboriginal title.

Research by Associate Professor Margaret Stephenson focuses on the processes for consultation and negotiation with indigenous peoples, when development actions, particularly in the context of resource development, impact on indigenous property rights. This project questions whether a similar common law duty of consultation could be applicable to Australian native title lands and how it might fit with the current ’right to negotiate’ regime in the Native Title Act.