The Mabo Decision Case Study

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A significant event for the civil rights of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people was the Mabo Decision which occurred in 1982 and ended in 1992. The Mabo Decision a case for which Eddie Koiki Mabo fought for the tradition rights and ownership of the Island of Mer otherwise known as Murray Island. During 1788 Australia was claimed ‘Terra Nullius’ by the British and as a result all land that traditionally belonged to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was taken away. Soon Aboriginals didn’t have the rights of the land that they lived on and were not counted as an Australian citizens. Eddie Koiki Mabo was an Indigenous activist that fought for the civil rights of Indigenous Australians and believed that the land he lived on belonged to his ancestors. Once Eddie Mabo won the Mabo Decision, The Native Title Act was established in 1993 which was where Indigenous Australians could gain back their land if they have a traditional connection with the land before 1788. This allowed other Indigenous Australian’s to …show more content…
The process of a Native title claim takes about six years and still has flaws. Many of the Native Title claims have been rejected due to other land rights from pastoralists and miners. This happened to the Wik people in 1996 where the rights of the pastoralist overturned the Native Title since there was a conflict in rights. Some Indigenous people can’t claim a Native Title as it is also difficult to prove a traditional connection. For example the Yorta Yorta people tried to claim land in 1998 but the court said that their traditional connection was washed away. Only 15% of Australian land have a Native Title which shows that not a lot of land has been given back to the Indigenous Australians. The Native Title Act a fair process as it is lengthy, bias and that rights of other people can overturn the Native

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