“It’s about Mabo.. and the Constitution… and the vibe of the thing…

Ever heard that? Know what it means? Introducing a new section on the blog: ‘Cases that made history.’ Let’s start with one of the most important cases in Australian law.

Mabo v Queensland (No 2) (commonly known as Mabo) was a landmark High Court of Australia decision recognising native title in Australia.

In Mabo the High Court rejected the doctrine of terra nullius (the idea that Australia was empty and there for the taking in 1788), in favour of the common law doctrine of Aboriginal title over land and so doing overruled Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd (1971) a contrary decision of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. Make sense? Let me explain what that all means…

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