The Claims Resolution Review was initiated by the Attorney-General to consider 'the dispute-resolution functions of the Court and the NNTT under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the effectiveness and efficiency of the NNTT and the Court in performing those functions. In so doing the Review assessed how the NNTT and the Court could maximise the potential for Native Title claims to be resolved in a quicker and less resource-intensive manner, primarily through mediation and agreement-making.
The Review made a number of recommendations principally aimed at strengthening the existing presumption, found in the Act in favour of mediation before the NNTT, promoting better communication and coordination between the Court and the NNTT; removing duplication of functions between the NNTT and Court; and improving the effectiveness of NNTT mediation.
Almost all the recommendations made in the Review now have legislative force through the Act (as amended by the Native Title Amendment Bill 2006). This paper focuses on the historical context of the recent amendments and the Court’s procedural response to the legislative changes and how the Court and the NNTT will continue to function efficiently and cooperatively within their respective spheres