Eddie Mabo and the other plaintiffs set three main goals.
Firstly, to persuade Australia's highest court that at the time Queensland annexed the Murray Islands in 1879 there existed established laws, traditions and practices under which the Murray Islanders acquired and held rights to land.
Secondly, that this annexation did not extinguish this system of laws but, on the contrary, the plaintiffs continued to hold rights to their traditional lands under this native title.
Thirdly, that the Australian courts were bound by the common law to recognise the Meriam peoples' traditional title to their lands.
Keywords: annexation, Common Law, High Court of Australia, native title, ownership, plaintiffs
Author: Kenna, Jonathan