...original owners of the soil...
Historian, Professor Henry Reynolds, in 'The Law of the Land' (1987) wrote:
'This was surely the distinctive and unenviable contribution of Australian jurisprudence to the history of the relations between Europeans and the indigenous people of the non-European world. It was not to provide justification for conquest or cession of land or assumption of sovereignty - others had done that before Australia was settled - but to deny the right, even the fact, of possession to people who had lived on their land for 40,000 years. Settlers in comparable countries (New Zealand, United States, Canada, South Africa) did not deny that the indigenes were the original owners of the soil, whatever else they may have done in the course of colonisation.'
Keywords: Africa, Canada, New Zealand (Aotearoa), property law, settlements, terra nullius, United States of America
'The Law of the Land', 1987.
© Penguin Books Australia
Source: Reynolds, Henry