Terra Nullius Legal Case Study

1001 Words 5 Pages
When the British decided to migrate to Australia they had a precise idea that no one had taken ownership on the land that they had settled on and therefore declared the land Terra Nullius which means that the land did not belong to anyone. But in fact it did and there were already people who had claimed ownership of the land and were already living and breeding, through there own culture and ways on the estate, they were the aboriginal people. One of the major issues regarding Terra Nullius came about through the Mabo decision through the high courts in Australia, which had a great impact on the handling and management on the policy and guidelines of Terra Nullius which showed the struggle of the Aboriginal people trying to claim back ownership …show more content…
The British put forward a claim that the Aboriginal people had never occupied ownership of the land that they had claimed, declaring Australia Terra Nullius. At this time the aboriginal people were already living and breeding on the land, which they called their own. The British took rights and ownerships through their own laws, which was possession through the common law, with a view that the land was uninhabited. This portrayed the interactions between the whites and the aboriginal people. This law outlined that the aboriginal people had no land rights and did not declare the land as their own. This was a major struggle for the aboriginal people not being able to claim the land they had inherited as their own. The European immigrants also played a major role by claiming themselves as the first occupants of the land, as first occupants of the land they declared that any country with no government or political reinforcement could be taken over and claimed completely ignoring the aboriginal people treating them as objects and not applying them to any law. The Europeans soon acquired their own way of legal action claiming to be the first inhabitants of the land through possession through international law this was a way for the Europeans to claim the land while not being on European …show more content…
The second issue was Australia recognizing the issues of dispossession in regards to the Aboriginal people and recognizing the truth. As we take a closer look on this issue we see that Australia can only function as a country of equality only if all Australians are seen as one.
During the Mabo case a new era was introduced turning a new page in Australian history due to the coming end of Terra Nullius. By the recognition of aboriginal land rights and the recurring acknowledgment of the aboriginal tradition and past stories correcting the era that was made in history. Which allowed the aboriginal people to gain concept of their national history, which was lost during the time of colonization. Mabo overturned the concept of Terra Nullius introducing a new page in history for the white and aboriginal

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