This course provides an overview of native title law in Australia. It includes the common law concept of native title, as recognised in the High Court decisions in Mabo and Wik, and the statutory regimes for dealing with native title under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

Students will study issues regarding proof, extinguishment and the future dealings regime in native title legislation, and the interaction between cultural heritage and native title. Primarily focused on Australia, comparative references will be made to other common law jurisdictions. The role of International law and International Conventions in relation to Indigenous peoples' rights will also be reviewed.

Successful completion of this course should provide an understanding of the Native Title Act and awareness of the problems experienced by Indigenous peoples with regard to traditional lands and the Australian legal system.

Topics covered include:

  • the recognition of Aboriginal title at common law: Mabo and the Native Title Act
  • what is native title?
  • what are statutory Indigenous land rights?
  • when will native title be recognised?
  • settling native title claims, including issues of proof of native title
  • understanding the operation of the future dealings regime in the Native Title Act
  • consultation regimes in the context of resource development and negotiating a native title agreement
  • Indigenous cultural heritage in land and its relationship with native title
  • Indigenous land tenure reform issues
  • Indigenous rights in international law.

Dr Johnathan FulcherDr Johnathan Fulcher

Adjunct Professor Jonathan Fulcher is one of Australia's Leading native title and cultural heritage Lawyers, and applies his extensive resources, native title and cultural heritage experience to mining, oil and gas transactions, infrastructure developments, joint venture arrangements, and asset and share sales and acquisitions across Australia and internationally.

Active in practice and academia, Professor Fulcher delivers Lectures in Native Title at The University of Queensland and Griffith University. He is a current member of The University of Queensland Centre for International Minerals and Energy Law (CIMEL). Professor Fulcher has also been published in various international journals and has delivered papers at conferences and symposia in Australia, New Zealand and UK. Professor Fulcher was listed in Doyle's Guide to Australia's Leading Native Title Lawyers in 2010, 2012 and 2014, and is also one of Australia's leading native title and cultural heritage lawyers, as ranked by Chambers Asia Pacific every year since 2007.

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