The High Court decision in Griffiths v Minister for Lands, Planning and Environment (2008) 235 CLR 232 concerned a challenge to compulsory acquisition notices issued over native title land in the Northern Territory. The legal significance of the case is that a High Court majority expressed no particular anxiety over the use of compulsory acquisition powers to deliver the property of one private owner into the hands of another. It suggests an even more permissive attitude to “private-to-private transfers” than Kelo v City of New London 545 US 469 (2005), one of the most controversial decisions of the United States Supreme Court in recent years. The practical significance of Griffiths is that it confirms the special vulnerability of native title land in towns and cities in the Northern Territory and potentially other jurisdictions as well.
Date of this Version
Sean Brennan, "Compulsory acquisition of native title land for private use by third parties" (March 2011). University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series 2011. Working Paper 16.