Neither Justice Nor Reason: A Legal and Anthropological Analysis of Aboriginal Land Rights
In 1976 the Australian Commonwealth took the first formal step toward giving at least some Aboriginal people legal title to at least some of their land. The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 allows that Aboriginal people may claim to be the "traditional owners" of areas of unalienated crown land in the Northern Territory (NT). In pursuing their claim to land, one of several land councils acts on their behalf to present the claim to the Aboriginal Land Commissioner (a judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, appointed to this position for a set period of time). The land commissioner hears the case for claims to the status of "traditional owner"; he also hears evidence from other interested parties who may wish to argue that the granting of Aboriginal freehold title (an unusually secure form of title) may be detrimental to these other interests. His recommendation is given to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and it is the minister who makes the final decision as to whether title will be transferred to the "traditional owners" in the form of a lands trust. To date, no Aboriginal land claim has been wholly rejected either by the land commissioner or by the minister ...
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Introduction to Part I
PARADIGM LOST Anthropological Models
An Alternative Model
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