Mabo Case Study

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Fight for Native Title: Mabo’s case triumphs Mabo v Queensland (no.2) 1992 On June 3rd 1992, five Murray Islanders home to the Torres Strait Islands in Australia held a legal action against the Government of Queensland in order to claim recognition of the rights to the use, enjoyment and occupancy of their traditional land which had been stolen off them prior to the annexation by the defending government. The judgments made by the High Court of Australia, initiated the legal doctrine of ‘native title’ into the Australian law, which was in favour of the plaintiffs bringing the case to court. This recognized that the Indigenous Australians did in fact have ownership to the possession of the land that was referred to as “terra nullius”, nobody’s…show more content…
Fighting for the rights and privileges to possession, use and enjoyment to their own traditional land, winning the case proved extremely beneficial for the Meriam people of Australia as it was recognition of social equality and fairness. The denial of the traditional rights of the Indigenous Australians was a ‘unjust and discriminatory doctrine of that kind (which) can no longer be accepted” according to Justice Brennan. It was a significant alteration of the legal, political and social relations between Non- Indigenous people and Indigenous people, acknowledging that there was a continuing connection to the Indigenous people and their land. The High Court of Australia’s decision changed the basic principles for the whole nation, recognising that native title can accommodate and be extinguished, can be by either the Crown or Indigenous people as well as compensation can be given. The outcome resulted in a campaign against the newly-established land rights of Indigenous Australians which also changed Australia’s legal system…show more content…
The “Native title Act” established new laws in allowing the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia to hear and undertake claims and applications that revolve around native title. The Wik Decisions was also an important pastoral lease that was released as a result to the Mabo decision in 1996. Pastoral leases are a form of land tenure that was created by the British prior to the squatters in the 1830’s to 1840’s. In the Wik Case, the governments posed questions referring towards native title in that a grant of pastoral lease was in relation towards it. In conclusion the High Court established that native title should be wiped out from pastoral leases. In order to do so the governments referred to the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth) and the Racial Discrimination Act to determine the outcome. Within the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 there was a 10 point claim which was campaigned against by the National Indigenous Working Groups. As a result to this campaign and support from the broader communities within Australia amendments were made within the Native Title Act to ensure justice and fairness was demonstrated towards Indigenous

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