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Mabo Vs Queensland - Essay Example

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In its ruling, the High Court of Australia nullified the declaration terra nullis or that land belonging to no-one. This declaration…
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Mabo Vs Queensland
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Mabo Vs Queensland

As such, the successive governments had made no endeavour to establish a system of national land rights. This undesirable situation was rectified by the Australian High Court, which relied upon its constitutional authority to declare land rights (Keon-Cohen, 2000: 893).
The decision in Mabo (No 1) in conjunction with international commitments to racial equality and the just terms protection under the Australian Constitution, and the national bill for compulsory acquisition of native title, engendered new property rights. The Mabo (No 2) decision provided various opportunities to the government to ensure land justice (Keon-Cohen, 2000: 893).
However, these opportunities were squandered by the government. A political solution to this issue was made available in the federal, State, and Territory statutory schemes relating to land rights (Keon-Cohen, 2000: 893). However, these schemes have effectively distorted the judgement in Mabo (No 2); and served to distance it from the common law.
The extant political solutions for this long standing national issue are irrational, and it is in this depressing environment that the High Court’s judgement proves to be welcome. Moreover, the legislative solutions, in respect of this predicament have proved to be defective; and there are serious administrative lapses in the implementation of the legislative solution (Keon-Cohen, 2000: 893). The scheme provides more opportunities to Crown grantees rather than the indigenous people; and makes no attempt to reconcile the differences between the affected parties.
The Mabo decision served to rescind the principle of terra nullius. This doctrine enabled the Crown to appropriate property that was uninhabited. However, this principle was extended by the common law to apply to the lands of the indigenous peoples. This unjust act was sought to be justified by the falsely claiming that the Aboriginals were uncivilised barbarians, and that there was nothing amoral in ... Read More
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