Country
Australia
Sources
InforMEA
Tagging
Land Tenure, Licences, Contract, Declaratory Relief, Specific Performance, Land Use, Constitutional, Indigenous Rights, Inspections, Property
Abstract

In this case, the plaintiff is a group of Australian aboriginal people from Northern Eastern Australia. The plaintiff claims to be the holder of native titles over two areas of land which are being leased for pastoral purpose and in some other case, for mining activities.

The plaintiff lodged their claim in front of the Federal Court of Australia. The judge of the first instance federal court found that the granting of the leases over the two claimed lands had extinguished any native title right to those lands as each lease gave exclusive possession to the lessees.

The plaintiff appealed the decision of the court of first instance in front of the High Court of Australia. The judge of the High Court considered that a pastoral lease does not confer rights of exclusive possession on the holder of the lease and that the rights and obligations depend on the nature and terms of the lease. However, when the rights of the lease are in conflict with native title rights, the lease prevails to the extent of any inconsistency. Finally, the court concluded that the granting of a lease does not extinguish any remaining native title rights.