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Guidelines for best practice flexible and sustainable agreement making

Publication date:
Researcher/s:
AIATSIS Research

This Best Practice Guide is designed to provide practical guidance for government parties on the behaviours, attitudes and practices that can achieve flexible, broad and efficient resolutions of native title. It identifies a range of common factors indicative of successful broader land settlements that may be applied or adapted to the circumstances of particular settlements. 

This Guide complements Mediation Guidelines: Guidelines for the behaviour of parties and their representatives in mediation in the National Native Title Tribunal.

Broader land settlements to which the guidelines could apply include:

  • native title settlements (eg consent determinations and Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs))
  • non-native title settlements
  • settlements which include a mix of both native title and non-native title outcomes.

These Guidelines are divided into three parts, which reflect distinct phases of broader land settlement negotiations.

  • Part One provides guidance on how to adequately prepare for the early stages of a negotiation. These guidelines encourage government parties to adopt behaviours, attitudes and practices early in the negotiation process that will ensure agreements deliver outcomes attuned to the needs and interests of all parties.
  • Part Two provides guidance on the substantive stage of the negotiation process. These guidelines encourage government parties to adopt an interest-based approach to negotiations, to remain flexible as to the potential benefits that might be provided and to act in good faith throughout the negotiation.
  • Part Three provides guidance on the successful implementation of agreements, so that appropriate corporate and governance frameworks are in place to ensure the delivery of sustainable benefits into the future.