Aboriginal rights law

Mabo case is a very famous and landmark case in Australian court of law which was recorded on June 3, 1992. This case deals with a group of people fighting for nativity title in Australia and how Australian court took a decision in the matters of giving a nativity title. The doctrine of terra nullius which means “land belonging to no one” under the jurisdiction of Australia was being considered when there was an appeal for right to recognise native title.

The case was on Murray Islands, Torres Strait, which were islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea. Under the leadership of Eddie Koiki Mabo, Meriam people a case was filed in Australian High Court to over ride the doctrine of terra nullius. Australia was discovered by Captain Cook in 1788 which was at that time empty with no man on the island. The common law of Australia recognises the native title and also recognises the rights of people who live in aboriginal land. “Canadian political scientist Peter Russell tells this fascinating story.

He puts his story in a very broad context by opening with a comprehensive survey of changing Western perceptions of indigenous people and their rights, from the opening phase of the age of European global exploration to the Mabo and post-Mabo era at the end of the twentieth century. In his truly impressive survey, Russell pays particular attention to the role that the international civil rights movement of the post-Second World War era played in leading Australia to pass the federal Racial Discrimination Act, 1973, which had profound implications for Aborigines’ rights.

He also carefully explores how political/legal developments in the United States (especially the Supreme Court Marshall decisions of the 1820s and 1830s3 and Tee-Hit-Ton 1955(4)) and Canada (especially the Calder [1973] and Sparrow [1992] decisions) influenced the development of Aboriginal rights law in Australia. ”( Arthur J Ray. (2007). Recognizing Aboriginal Title: The Mabo Case and Indigenous Resistance to English-Settler Colonialism)