Native title involves an interface between the Australian legal system and Indigenous legal, cultural and political systems. The assertion and management of native title rights involves collective action by sometimes large and disparate groups of Indigenous people. Contentious politics makes such collective action difficult and the courts will often be asked to decide whether group decisions have been validly made. In the last two decades a vast and complex body of law and practice has developed to address this challenge. Authorisation law is a set of principles about how the views and intentions of native title claimants or holders are translated into legally effective decisions. This book sets out the legal rules and their application in various situations: native title claims, native title agreement-making, decision-making by native title corporations, and compensation applications. It also addresses key practical, ethical and political dimensions of native title decision-making. This book will be useful for native title practitioners including lawyers, judges and native title holders. It will also be relevant to academic research into the ethical, political and anthropological dimensions of Indigenous governance.
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies 2017