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Tell me law - 8

Matthew Karakoulakis Source: Supplied

In this episode we discuss the landmark Northern Territory of Australia v Griffiths [2019] HCA 7 case; arguably the most significant Native Title related decision since Mabo.

In this case the High Court of Australia handed down a judgment in regards to compensation payable to the Ngaliqurru and Nungali Peoples, Native Title holders in a tiny town of the Northern Territory.

Matthew Karakoulakis says this is a landmark decision because compensation has been properly considered in a Native Title case for the very first time .

“There was a real examination of the Native Title Act’s compensation provisions and requirements to be actually compensated in those circumstances where Native Title has been over-ridden, and not being permitted or even extinguished in certain circumstances”

Matthew adds that particularly important in this case was the measurement of harm that was caused, the loss  suffered by the Indigenous people in the tiny town and their loss of cultural connection with the country in which they reside.

The case is very significant because for the first time compensation for loss of cultural connection is invoqued.

Matthew Karakoulakis also explains that this decision sets a precedent for all Native Title cases and it has the strongest level of authority.

"The good news for Native Title holders everywhere in Australia is that they can rely on this decision in stepping forward in their negotiations and in their own legal battles seeking the proper amount of compensation for the  loss they’ve suffered."

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