Indigenous Land Rights

The CLA Indigenous Land Rights Project aims to identify and provide recommendations of best practice for policy and procedure that recognises and gives effect to the land rights of Indigenous peoples.

It aims to do so by identifying legal gaps pertaining to the effective recognition of Indigenous land rights in selected Commonwealth jurisdictions with reference to the principles contained in the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”).

It will approach this issue from a legal perspective, considering principles contained in the UNDRIP and in particular, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous legal systems, customs and traditions.  It will consider, the need to ensure that rights, can be  asserted in a way that allows Indigenous peoples to determine the exercise of those rights, and how they  can be protected against extinguishment by the exercise of rights claimed by others.

The Project will investigate the vulnerability of Indigenous land rights to the overreaching interests and land use of other parties.  

It will explore best practices on how to hold rights which belong to Indigenous peoples and it will consider a just and appropriate forum for determining and reconciling conflict between Indigenous and non Indigenous land and resource use.  

It is hoped to have the recommendations of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association of its important issue, available for presentation to the Commonwealth Law Conference in Nassau, Bahamas in September 2021.