CLA News / Borneo Rainforest Law Conference session report: Native title – recent case law across the Commonwealth


Chaired by one of CLA’s best and most respected members, Cyrus Das of Malaysia, (second from right) this  session began with Rod Northey providing the Canadian perspective from the  Supreme Court of Canada through the case law which developed the concept of Aboriginal title there.

Steven Thiru, (former VP of the CLA’s Australasian hub and counsel in a number of cases relating to aboriginal land rights) discussed the issues related to bringing these issues forward, including the significant power imbalance between the aboriginal groups and those taking over the land, the difficulties with the judicial view that oral history is self-serving, and the issue of aboriginal title simply being extinguished.

Andrew Ambrose, a spiritual leader from Borneo reminded people of the defilement of Mount Kinabalu in 2015 and exhorted attendees to ‘draw,  sketch and colour a new world’.

Download Rodney Northey’s Paper here

All speaker biographies can be found by accessing the speaker page of the event website

Laurie Pawlitza

CLA Vice President Americas