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Impact of Mabo Case on the Australian Law

Home Articles Impact of Mabo Case on the Australian Law

Mabo Cases had been a matter of talk in the country for a decade and proved as a monumental step in the history of the country. The case was all about claiming back of the land of the natives since the colonization of the continent.  The natives came to know that the place, Australia was “terra nullius,” which cleared that the natives had no right on the land of the country. The case resulted in giving mixed notions, such as many people see it a victory for indigenous people throughout the nation. Whereas, others reacted adversely to Mabo case. It was the battle between the common man and the commonwealth. The country was declared terra nullius which means un-inhabited even though it was not.

It began in the year 1982 with the declaration of the native title over the Queensland Aboriginal land claims by Eddie Mabo, hence the name of the case. The argument was made of wrongfully calling the place as terra nullius as the statement was used by the settlers who colonized the nation. In the year 1992, the High Court of Australia rejected being the country called as terra nullius. It is because Australia existed even before the Britishers arrived. The decision hence came out to be the most controversial ones made by the High Court.

Who was unhappy with the decision?

The then decision has impacted the mining and the other industries. It was said that the result would be the increase in the time consumed and money spent on gaining leases on land.

The decision also named as Mabo decision also awarded many land rights to the natives or the indigenous people. But there were a lot of complications attached to it. The terms and the conditions did not benefit all leaving some negative effects on them. The people took the decision as unfair because the people had to meet some requirements to claim the land rights. The natives then had to roam around the country as whole of their land was taken away from them by the white. The white men included people from England.

Impact of the first settlers on the indigenous people of Australia

This group came with a set of laws and rules that were not seen by the originals of Australia, aboriginals, before. As expected by them, the reforms were not in favour of the Aboriginals and left them without any land. They had to endure sever sufferings because of this.

Attempts by indigenous

The people never sit back; they attempted to get back their land on which they had been living with their families and hunting for a living. MABO v Queensland was one of the attempts. Other names, in this case, are Milirrpum and others v Nabalco Pty Ltd.

The reaction of the other states

Other states of the continent such as South Australia were under the influence of the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act 1981 South Australia. Due to this, they had different requirements and guidelines to be followed. The Britishers had also contaminated a large part of the land of the state.

Native Title Act passed in the year 1993 stated that the existing leases or the ownerships override the native title of the indigenous people of the country. If the people had no claims over the land, then they do not have any right over the development of the land in addition to the mining royalties.

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