Conduct of laws: Native title, responsibility, and some limits of jurisdictional thinking

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Journal Article
Melbourne University Law Review, 2012, 36 (2), pp. 470 - 493
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It is now twenty years since the High Court of Australia designated 'native title' as the site of engagement of Australian common law and jurisprudence with Indigenous law and jurisprudence in Mabo v Queensland [No 2]. Common law jurisprudence, however, continues to struggle to create the appropriate form and conduct of the relations between itself and Indigenous laws and jurisprudence. It struggles, in short, to create an appropriate meeting place of laws. In light of recent attempts to amend the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), it is timely, then, to return to the first question that is addressed in the meeting of laws in Australia, that of the authorisation of laws and the quality and conduct of the meeting place. Here the meeting of Australian common law and Indigenous law in Australia is tracked in terms of a brief history of common law jurisdictional practice, the jurisprudence of the conduct of lawful relations in and through s 223 of the Native Title Act, and official forms of responsibility for lawful relations.
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