The Mabo Case: Aboriginals And Torres Strait Islanderss

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On June 3 1992, the legal decision of the Mabo case was made by the High Court, the highest court in Australia’s legal system (Webb, 2008). For thousands of years before the arrival of the British in 1788, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders have had their strong connection to the Australian Land. When the British arrived in 1788, it was declared that the country was terra nullius (land belonging to nobody), which resulted to the absence of recognition towards the connection between the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders and the Australian land. The declaration of terra nullius also resulted to the British taking land without agreement or payment towards the indigenous Australians (Webb, 2008).

In the 1970s the Queensland Government …show more content…

Eddie Mabo argued that the people of Mer have settled in stable communities, had their own organizations such as political organizations and social organizations and have continuously inhabited and had owned these lands, aiming to win his second case (www.australiatogether.org.au). When the High Court made their legal decision on June 3 1992, the rights over Australian land changed for the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. The court’s decision stated that terra nullius should not have been applied to Australia (www.reconciliation.org.au). Their decision also recognized that the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders have rights to the land as it is acknowledged that they have a unique connection to their land (www.reconciliation.org.au). The high court also recognized the principal of the native title. This means that the high court recognized that there was title to land before the arrival of the European Settlers …show more content…

This is an act that acknowledges the rights to land for the Torres Straight Islanders and Aboriginals because of their traditional laws and customs (www.reconciliation.org.au). It accepts the notion of native title in law and also recognizes the rights of the owners of freehold property. However, the rights to this law are not limitless; it all depends on the traditional laws and customs of the people claiming the title (www.reconciliation.org.au). The interests in, or right to the land from other people are also relevant. This also rules over the Native Title (www.reconciliation.org.au). Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders have to prove their connection to the land and prove that they have not done anything to break their connection to their land such as selling the land (www.reconciliation.org.au). There are different ways to look at the Native Title as some Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders may be granted the right to live on the land and live as how they traditionally lived (www.reconciliation.org.au). The Native Title act is important because it determines how Native Title interests are formally documented and acknowledged (www.reconciliation.org.au). It sets the rules for dealing with land where native title still exists or may exist

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