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On 3 August 2013, the Australian Law Reform Commission commenced an inquiry into specific areas of native title law. The commission is due to report by March 2015.

On 7 June 2013 the department released draft terms of reference for public consultation. Consultation on the draft terms of reference closed on 28 June 2013.

To find out about the progress of the inquiry, visit the Australian Law Reform Commission website.

Terms of reference

The final terms of reference are available at:

Under the terms of reference, the commission is requested to examine two specific areas of native title law and consider what changes could be made to improve the operation of Commonwealth native title laws and legal frameworks.

The two specific areas to be considered by the commission are:

  • connection requirements relating to the recognition and scope of native title rights and interests
  • any barriers imposed by the Act’s authorisation and joinder provisions to claimants’, potential claimants’ and respondents’ access to justice.

Stakeholders will have opportunities to put their views forward on these issues as part of the commission’s inquiry.

Public consultation – draft terms of reference

Draft terms of reference were released on 7 June 2013 for a three-week consultation period. Lodgement of submissions closed on 28 June 2013.

The draft terms of reference released for public consultation, and the explanatory material that accompanied the draft terms of reference, are available below:

Stakeholder submissions

Submissions received on the draft terms of reference can be found below.