The common law recognition of Native Title in the High Court’s Mabo decision in 1992 and the Commonwealth Native Title Act have transformed the ways in which Indigenous peoples’ rights over land may be formally recognised and incorporated within Australian legal and property regimes. The process of implementation has raised a number of crucial issues of concern to Native Title claimants and other interested parties. This series of papers is designed to contribute to the information and discussion.
This paper discusses the use of Federal Court consent determinations to resolve Native Title determination applications. These determinations arguably provide an expeditious means of settling Native Title issues, particularly the description of Native Title holders and their rights and interests. The paper also sketches the implications of consent determinations for representative bodies and peak industry groups.