Beyond Communal and Individual Ownership: Indigenous Land Reform in Australia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Beyond Communal and Individual Ownership

Indigenous Land Reform in Australia, 1st Edition

By Leon Terrill


316 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138626010
pub: 2018-06-01
Hardback: 9781138853911
pub: 2015-10-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315722474
pub: 2015-10-05
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Over the last decade, Australian governments have introduced a series of land reforms in communities on Indigenous land. This book is the first in-depth study of these significant and far reaching reforms. It explains how the reforms came about, what they do and their consequences for Indigenous landowners and community residents. It also revisits the rationale for their introduction and discusses the significant gap between public debate about the reforms and their actual impact.

Drawing on international research, the book describes how it is necessary to move beyond the concepts of communal and individual ownership in order to understand the true significance of the reforms. The book's fresh perspective on land reform and careful assessment of key land reform theories will be of interest to scholars of indigenous land rights, land law, indigenous studies and aboriginal culture not only in Australia but also in any other country with an interest in indigenous land rights.


"Beyond Communal and Individual Ownership provides us with an entry point into that policy space, a vision of the policy alternatives that might be pursued in the future, and an analysis of the issues that will need to be addressed and determined whichever course is adopted. This is a very substantial achievement in itself."Inside Story, Michael Dillon, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the ANU, Canberra

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: From land rights to land reform 2. Land Reform: Theory, Terminology and Concepts 3. Aboriginal Land in the Northern Territory 4. Communities on Aboriginal Land 5. Australian Debate about Land Reform and the New Political Consensus 6. The Reforms 7. Making Sense of the Reforms 8. Alternative Approaches? 9. Conclusion

About the Author

Leon Terrill is a Research Director at the Indigenous Law Centre and a Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He has previously worked as a senior lawyer with the Central Land Council, coordinator of the University of the South Pacific Community Legal Centre and as a lawyer with Victoria Legal Aid.

About the Series

Routledge Complex Real Property Rights Series

Real Property Rights are central to the global economy and provide a legal framework for how society (be it developed or customary) relates to land and buildings. We need to better understand property rights to ensure sustainable societies, careful use of limited resources and sound ecological stewardship of our land and water. Contemporary property rights theory is dynamic and needs to engage thinkers who are prepared to think outside their disciplinary limitations.

The Routledge Complex Real Property Rights Series strives to take a transdisciplinary approach to understanding property rights and specifically encourages heterodox thinking. Through rich international case studies, the goal of the series is to build models to connect theory to observed reality, informing potential policy outcomes. This series is both an ideal forum and reference for students and scholars of property rights and land issues.

Video interviews with the series authors and editors can be viewed here: 

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Housing & Urban Development
LAW / Land Use
LAW / Property
LAW / Real Estate
LAW / Indigenous Peoples
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Construction / General