The Australian Association of Constitutional Law will host a seminar on "The High Court and Aboriginal Land 2008/09 â Constitutional Issues and the Strength of Aboriginal Property Rights", to be held tomorrow, 9 March 2010 at 5:30 pm in Court 18 B, Queens Square (members only). The paper will be delivered by Mr Sean Brennan (senior lecturer, University of New South Wales).ï¿½ Commentators will beï¿½ the Hon Justice John Basten (New South Wales Court of Appeal); and the Hon Justice Jayne Jagot (Federal Court of Australia). The Hon Murray Gleeson AC will chair the seassion.
This is the first of 5-6 events for AACL in 2010ï¿½ (a new program will be released soon). To become a member, download an application form or join at the door, just prior to the event. Annual membership fee is $50.00.
Summary of paper:
In 2008â09, the High Court determined four Aboriginal land rights and native title cases: Northern Territory v Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust (2008) 236 CLR 24; Griffiths v Minister for Lands, Planning and Environment (2008) 235 CLR 232; Minister Administering the Crown Lands Act v New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (2008) 249 ALR 602; and Wurridjal v Commonwealth (2009) 252 ALR 232 (the âInterventionâ case). This paper considers several important issues of constitutional and statutory interpretation raised by the cases: the meaning of âacquisition of property on just termsâ (s 51(xxxi)) in the context of Aboriginal property rights and the amendment of land rights legislation, the reinterpretation of the territories power (s 122), and the intersection of territorial fishing licences and exclusive possession rights in the intertidal zone. The paper will also address broader public law issues such as the use of compulsory acquisition powers to transfer land from one private owner to another, whether traditional canons of interpretation protect Aboriginal property rights, and how far governments have to go to put land beyond claim. It also offers observations on the resulting contrast between the federal system of native title and property rights conferred under NSW and NT land rights legislation.
8 March 2010