This paper outlines the current state of free prior informed consent (FPIC) at the international level, examines some common difficulties, and then describes Australian domestic law regarding these issues. FPIC is frequently cited as a legal standard for the development of extractives projects which impact Indigenous groups, particularly in Latin America (through ILO Convention 169 and the Inter-American human rights regime). The basic concept is that mining impacts should not occur without the group’s FPIC, but that simplicity hides domestic complexity.

Paper presented to Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Conference, Rio de Janiero, 12 April 2019. Extracted from International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development, and Investment 22A-1 (Rocky Mt Min L Fdn 2019)