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radical title

Australian Law Dictionary
Trischa MannTrischa Mann, Audrey BlundenAudrey Blunden

radical title 

The comprehensive and fundamental title to or ownership of lands and waters assumed by a nation state under international and associated domestic law upon its colonisation of and acquisition of sovereignty over a territory. The High Court of Australia held in the Mabo Case (Mabo and Others v Queensland (No. 2) (1992) 175 CLR 1) that where a colonised territory is inhabited by indigenous peoples maintaining legal and customary rights and interests in its lands and waters (native title), the Crown's radical title does not extend to absolute beneficial ownership of those lands and waters to the exclusion of the rights and interests of those peoples. Rather, those rights and interests serve as a burden on the Crown's radical title (though they may subsequently be extinguished by a valid exercise of sovereign power).