The Land Law: The Case Of Eddie Koiki Mabo Case

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Son, this land will belong to you when I die.” These are the words Eddie Koiki Mabo’s father once said and it is the beginning of what is to be known as “Mabo v Queensland (No 2), or the Mabo Case. In year 1982, Eddie Koiki Mabo and some fellow plaintiffs from Murray Island, wanted to claim back their rights and ownership of what they claimed was their land. They went up in front of the High Court of Australia and ten years later the parliament passed the Native Title Act 1993. Eddie Koiki Mabo died in 1993, before the High court of Australia legislated the new act. At Eddies funeral, Bryan Keon-Cohen said “…without Eddie the case would probably never have begun” .
In 1992, ten years after the case began, the High Court of Australia ruled
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This act of the British colony has continued under the doctrine of terra nullius, which states that the land in Australia belonged to no one, prior to 1788 .
In 1537, Pope Paul III made a statement regarding freedom and land rights. In his declaration Sublimus Dei, he wrote;
“Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians are to be by no means deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property; … should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect”
This statement was made long before the British colony claimed Australia as theirs, and it clearly indicates the rights of the indigenous inhabitants.
Terra nullius denied both the existence and humanity of the indigenous inhabitants, and it also separated the indigenous inhabitants from the white people, which today would have been an act against the law. The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 states
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The consequences of terra nullius, before it got rejected, were that it parted the indigenous inhabitants from their rights in their land, and even if terra nullius is rejected today they still do not have the same rights as other Australians. An article in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states

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