The Compensation Catapult

John Sheehan, Jasper Brown

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Australian property law has steadily evolved to facilitate the
recognition of new or previously unrecognised property rights.
As the scope of the law has widened, modern property rights have
become increasingly complex. One of the most famous Australian
cases, Mabo v.State of Queensland (1992)175 CLR 1 resulted in the
acknowledgement of a whole class of property rights that were not
previously recognised - native title.More recently, the Australian
High Court decision Commonwealth of Australia v. Yarmirr
(2001) 208 CLR 1; 184 ALR 113 furthered our understanding
of property rights to include the notion of ‘’sea country’’. This
evolution of property rights has had fundamental implications
when addressing compensation for the impairment or acquisition
of land by government. We argue that as our understanding of
property rights advances, the ambit of compensation is catapulted
into unchartered waters. This paper highlights the difficulty
of containing property rights to a particular set of descriptors
and the effect this has on compensation claims. Further, this
paper argues that the methodology of processing compensation
claims exposes a disconnect between the public and the NSW
government.Finally, through an exploration of specfic examples
of compensation for interference with private property by
government, this paper concludes that there is a need for a
workable consensus on good, bad, and fair compensation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
EventThe 12th Annual Conference of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law, and Property : Migrations – Impacts, Law and Spatial Planning - University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
Duration: 19 Feb 201823 Feb 2018
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceThe 12th Annual Conference of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law, and Property
Abbreviated titlePLPR
CityNovi Sad
Internet address


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