Federal Court judge commends Crown Law in native title determination case

On 2 August 2012 the Federal Court of Australia recognised the Djungan People’s native title rights and interests over more than 182,000 hectares of land in North Queensland.

The Court recognised the Djungan People’s exclusive rights to approximately 149,915 ha of land and non-exclusive rights over a further 33,058 ha.

“The determination means the Djungan People will have the use and enjoyment of their traditional lands for generations to come,” Principal Lawyer Paulette Dupuy said.

“The determination of native title is an integral part of preserving Djungan culture and identity and is critical to achieving more economic benefits and independence for traditional owners on their land,” she said.

The decision was the culmination of much hard work and cooperation between the Djungan People and their legal representatives, Crown Law (which acted on behalf of the State) and other respondent parties and their legal representatives.

The National Native Title Tribunal and Federal Court registrars also provided considerable assistance in the progression of these matters towards a consensual determination of native title.

In his reasons for judgment in the Djungan People matters, His Honour Justice Logan commended the Crown Solicitor and his staff for the role they played in the resolution of these longstanding matters.

“… the Crown Solicitor for Queensland and his staff are to be commended. While it falls to each respondent to a native title claim to take its own legal advice, there is no denying that the State plays a leadership role so far as respondents are concerned in the assessment of the merits of a claim.

“Such cases demand acute attention to model litigant obligations,” Justice Logan said.

The determination settles native title claims lodged by the Djungan People in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001 and marks the 72nd determination of native title in Queensland.

The information in this publication is provided for general purposes only. It is not to be relied on as a substitute for legal advice. Crown Law and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General accept no liability for losses caused by reliance on the material in this publication. Formal legal advice should be obtained for particular matters.

Published: 10 September 2012

Author: Paulette Dupuy