Mabo v Queensland (Number 2)
In Mabo v Queensland [No.2] the High Court confirmed the existence of native title. All of the judges of the majority agreed that extinguishment of native title without compensation or consent was a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth). Therefore, governments must exercise their power to reserve, dedicate or otherwise dispose of land in a manner consistent with the Racial Discrimination Act.
Ordinarily, whether under the Constitution or state legislation, land is only acquired on payment of just terms. Therefore, if a government wishes to interfere with native title, they must do so on just terms so as not to discriminate in contravention of the Racial Discrimination Act. Therefore, the Mabo decision, while washing away the injustices of past dispossession, identified a source of protection for native title in the future, which forced the governments of the day to respond in some positive manner.
Keywords: High Court of Australia, Mabo Case, Mabo v Queensland No.2, Queensland, Racial Discrimination Act , 1975 , 1992
Author: Strelein, Lisa