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The Australian National University

Indigenous legal rights to freshwater: Australia in the international context

Working Paper 42 / 2008


The paper undertakes a comparative overview of the law as it pertains to Indigenous rights in freshwater in four countries: the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It is organised around four themes of particular concern to contemporary Indigenous Australians: ownership of water, water rights, commercial rights, and management rights. To date, the law, especially in Australia, has been relatively silent as to the water rights of Indigenous people. It is useful then to undertake a comparison of the legal developments overseas as a means of gaining insight into how Indigenous Australians might protect their legal interests in freshwater.

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CAEPR Working Paper 422.59 MB

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