ABSTRACT

As a consequence of the Mabo High Court decision of 1992, Australian courts recognisze that there were legal systems in place at the time of European occupation, that Indigenous peoples’ rights to land survived colonisation, and that a form of native title could exist in situations in whichere it had not been extinguished. This chapter describes the changes to the legal landscape precipitated by the Mabo High Court decision, explaining key concepts of the native title regime and their relevance to the planner and others working within Australia’s land management system. It then briefly outlines the trajectory of native title law since the High Court case and, raises some remaining challenges, tensions and disappointments evident after 25twenty-five years of working through the law and practice of native title.