Native Title Determination (Australia)


A native title determination is the recognition by an Australian court (either the Federal or the High Court) or any other recognised body that native title does or does not exist in a particular area of land or water. A recognised body must be a court, office, tribunal or body of a State or Territory that the Commonwealth Attorney-General has formally recognised to make determinations in relation to areas of particular land or waters.

Native title determinations may be either litigated (in which case the determination is made following a trial process); by consent (where the determination is made following agreement by all parties); or an unopposed determination (for which an application is not contested by another party). See individual glossary terms for further details.

Native title may be found to exist, or be found to have been extinguished, or a combination of both.

All native title determinations, once made by a Commonwealth Court, are placed on the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) Register.

Extended Definition

In making a determination of native title, the court must:
- decide whether or not native title exists in respect of the determination area;
- identify the group that holds native title;
- state the nature and extent of the native title rights and interests; and
- set out the other rights and interests in the determination area and the relationship between those rights and the native title.