Mabo V Queensland

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Mabo V Queensland

National ArchivesCopy of the judgment

The Full Judgment

Background Information: Sea and Land Rights

Mabo and Ors V State of Queensland

It would take ten years, and Eddie Mabo would not live to see or hear the result, but in 1992, the High Court brought down its decision. This decision included the words:…the Meriam people were entitled as against the rest of the world to the possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of (most of) the land of the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait. In reaching this conclusion a majority of the Court held that the common law of Australia recognises a form of native title; where those people have maintained their connection with the land; and where the title has not been extinguished by acts of Imperial, Colonial, State, Territory or Commonwealth governments. In essence, the High Court recognised that Australia was occupied prior to white settlement, and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had native title to these lands.

Reynolds, Henry, The Law of the Land, Penguin, Melbourne, (2nd ed.), 1992.Stephenson, MA and Ratnapala, Suri, Mabo: A Judicial Revolution, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1993.

Mabo Native Title

Murray Island

Background information:The Mabo Judgement and its Implications.


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