On 8 August 2002, the High Court handed down its decision on Western Australia v Ward & Ors, relating to the Native Title claim by the Miriuwung – Gajerrong peoples. The decision was anticipated as one which would answer critical questions about the nature and content of Native Title. The majority was constituted by Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, Gummow and Hayne JJ, who prepared a joint judgement, with Kirby J agreeing with the majority subject to some minor qualifications. McHugh and Callinan JJ dissented and provided separate judgements.
This paper provides a brief summary of the findings in the decision. As it is an immediate response to the decision, the conclusions may be subject to further qualification.