The Order Of The Court
Two other justices agreed with the judgment of Justice Brennan - Chief Justice Mason and Justice McHugh. Justices Deane and Gaudron gave a separate joint judgment, and Justice Toohey also gave a separate judgment, but all agreed, with some variations, with the general propositions put forward by Justice Brennan.
Only Justice Dawson dissented.
The Order of the Court was a declaration which, in part, reads as follows:
'(2) that the Meriam people are entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the island of Mer except for that parcel of land leased to the Trustees of the Australian Board of Missions and those parcels of land (if any) which have been validly appropriated for use for administrative purposes the use of which is inconsistent with the continued enjoyment of the rights and privileges of Meriam people under native title;
(3) that the title of the Meriam people is subject to the power of the Parliament of Queensland and the power of the Governor in Council of Queensland to extinguish that title by valid exercise of their respective powers, provided any exercise of those powers is not inconsistent with the laws of the Commonwealth.'
Keywords: Brennan, Justice Gerard, crown land, extinguishment, High Court Decision, 03/06/1992, High Court judgement, High Court of Australia, Mer, native title, sovereignty, 1992
(1992) 175 CLR 1, p 76.
Author: Strelein, Lisa