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Western Australia v Commonwealth (1995) 183 CLR 373 (16 March 1995)

Category: Case Law
Sub Category:Case Law
Summary Information:
In Western Australia v Commonwealth seven High Court judges confirmed that native title could exist in mainland Australia and found that the Federal Government had power under the Commonwealth Constitution to enact the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). The Court was also unanimous in finding that native title could only be extinguished in a manner that was consistent with the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) and the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). Western Australian legislation that extinguished native title and replaced it with rights of traditional usage was found to be inconsistent with both Acts. By operation of s 109 of the Constitution, the State legislation was, therefore, inoperative.

Related Entries

  • Western Australian Aboriginal Native Title Working Group
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)

  • References

    National Native Title Tribunal (2002) Ten Years of Native Title Information Kit


    Native Title (Australia)

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