Tragedy & Victory
Tragically, in November 1991, the leading plaintiff, Eddie Mabo, was diagnosed with cancer. He was rushed to Brisbane hospital for radium treatment. The cancer was spreading rapidly. The case he'd led for ten years was still pending in the High Court.
On June 3rd, 1992, only five months after Mabo's death, the High Court delivered its historic judgement on the Mabo Case.
Today in Canberra, the high court ruled that residents of the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait owned customary title of their land...
Australia has recognised the legal existence of Aborigines... the case is a moral victory as well as having great significance for land rights.
This is the most important court decision in the 200 years history of white occupation in this country...
The High Court decided that it didn't need to rule on the validity of Eddie Mabo's claims to particular bits of land on Mer. The real issues, it declared, were these: did the community of Murray Island have a system of land ownership which pre-dated white conquest? And if so, was that system still valid?
The Court answered yes to both questions.
Still more controversial was the Court's decision the principles applied in the Mabo case could establish native title on the mainland, too.
In response the Australian government in 1993 introduced national Native Title legislation, establishing a specialist tribunal to settle indigenous land claims throughout Australia.
Ancient & Modern Ways
Great Barrier Reef, Mer, Murray Island, native title, reef, sea claims, sea rights, Subkaur Island
Benny & Maiga's Son
Jan, 2, 1992
Brisbane, cancer, death, diaries, inheritance, Mabo, Benny, Mabo, Eddie Jnr., Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo, Maiga
Buried In Townsville
Feb, 1, 1992
burial, Las, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo family, Townsville
High Court Victory
Jun, 3, 1992
Australia, Canberra, death, High Court judgement, High Court of Australia, High Court victory, land ownership, Mabo, Edward Koiki, native title
Legislation In Australia After Mabo
indigenous people, land rights, Mabo Case, Mabo judgement, mining, native title, Native Title Act (1993), pastoralism, political reaction
The Native Title Act
Oct, 1, 1992
1967 referendum, Court, Richard, Keating, Paul, Mabo Case, Mabo judgement, mining, National Farmer's Federation, native title, Native Title Act (1993), pastoralism, politics
Native Title After The Murray Islands
aboriginal law, Mabo judgement, Native Title Act (1993), sovereignty
Native Title & Sovereignty
indigenous people, native title, sovereignty
An Expression Of Sovereignty
Jun, 3, 1992
High Court of Australia, Mabo judgement, native title, self determination, self-government, sovereignty
Land Rights Stalled
land rights, Mabo judgement
Extinguishment Of Native Title
Brennan, Chief Justice Gerard, claim, crown land, extinguishment, native title, plaintiffs, Radical Title, Supreme Court USA
In The High Court For The Last Time
High Court of Australia, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo v Queensland No.2
The High Court Decides!
Jun, 3, 1992
High Court of Australia, Mabo judgement, Mabo v Queensland No.2
Eddie Mabo - Linchpin
Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo family
Implications Of Mabo
Mabo Case, Mabo judgement, mining, pastoral industry, political reaction
Speaking In A Whisper
cancer, death, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo family
Britain's Acquisition Of Sovereignty
Britain, colonisation, Mabo Case, Mer, plaintiffs, sovereignty
Pre-Existing Land Rights
land rights, Mabo judgement, native title
Sovereignty & Indigenous Self-Government
Mabo judgement, native title, sovereignty
The Doctrine Of Tenures Reconsidered
crown land, doctrine of tenure, land rights, Mabo judgement
The High Court Decision
Jun, 3, 1992
Mabo judgement, Mabo v Queensland No.2, native title
The Mabo Case
High Court of Australia, International law, Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, terra nullius
cancer, Eddie Mabo's Death, 21/01/1992