Native Title compensation claims: provision of anthropological evidence associated with solatium

Systematic description and analysis of affective experience is the key principle to provide expert opinion and evidence for the loss of solace in Native Title compensation claims. The matter requires legally to be framed in direct consequential relation with the extinguishment or impairment of landed rights and interests. The experts who have been involved in compensation claims are all agreed on the methodological and analytical challenges of the relevant research.

Native Title research is generally marked with the structural analytical frames to define a group of people and the existence of a continuing normative system connecting the people and land. On the other hand, the compensation research as its counterpart is supposed to assess the impact of compensable acts that have caused certain aspects of the normative system to discontinue, be impaired or to adapt to change. This shift in research questions and set of evidentiary requirements opens the compensation research strategy to interpretive analytical frames ranging from cross cultural analysis of emotions and feelings to social linguistic and existential approaches to the concept of loss.

In a current publishing project, I aim to apply a holistic approach to the matter of personal and social experience. Influenced by my ongoing research interest in socio-cultural systems and dynamics as lived experience, I discuss recording beyond the verbal expressions of affect, emotions and narration of loss in the compensation research. In an intersection of applied and philosophical anthropology, I engage with theoretical reflection on the anthropology of experience and modes of being and acting and link them to the loss of solace and compensation research in a legal context.

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