...The Goal Realised...
As discussed, the plaintiffs' goal was to persuade the High Court to accept that their traditional system of land tenure still continued in the Murray Islands and that this traditional native title was able to be recognised under the common law of Australia.
This carried with it a challenge to two doctrines well established in the Australian common law, namely the doctrine of terra nullius and the principle that the acquisition of sovereignty through settlement delivers to the Crown complete ownership of all land within the new colony.
Keywords: claim, crown land, High Court of Australia, Mabo judgement, plaintiffs, terra nullius
Author: Kenna, Jonathan