Tenuous Foundations: Historical Lessons for Modern Land Agreements
Goodwin, David; Strack, Mick
The past decade has seen a wave of land leases, sales and concessions unparalleled since colonial times. Concurrently, many countries are embroiled in ongoing remedial and restitutive work over historical land leases, sales and concessions that have failed or had unforeseen consequences. This raises the question of whether historical agreements can provide insights into long-term outcomes of latter-day land deals. Three cases are reviewed of agreements between British authorities and indigenous groups, and the outcomes are compared critically. The article concludes that the terms of such agreements are often far broader than the written words, and that if modern agreements are to avoid complications in the long term they should be closely attuned to the longevity of verbal commitments, cultural protocols and trust relationships.
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
Keywords: Treaty negotiation; Land tenure; Land grabs; Legal evidence; Indigenous land rights; Aboriginal title
Research Type: Journal Article
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