UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Native title and the tide of history : shifting the sands Hall, Brooke


This thesis is designed to contribute to the discussion of the issues confronting Australian Courts by evaluating the process of recognition and protection of native title and to delineate how it is being shaped. The High Court of Australia's decision in Mabo v. The State of Queensland [No.2] (1992) C.L.R. 1 and the subsequent Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) in Australia have begun the process of recognition and protection of native title. This thesis looks at the scope of the High Court and some Federal Court of Australia decisions since Mabo [No.2], and examines the relationships at law that underlay a theoretical foundation for those decisions. Two relationships underlay the Courts' reasons: relationships to history, and relationships to land. Australian Courts are articulating a particular conception of these relationships, and the foundation of this thesis is to propose a shift in native title discourse to include indigenous perspectives when determining native title claims.

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