Mabo Case

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Legal studies-Law Reform
Legal studies-Law Reform

The Australian Legal System response to the Mabo case has changed greatly ever since the first time it was introduced. Many different acts were introduced and/or amended as a result of this case. The effectiveness of the law and the law reform in protecting the rights of individual and society at large is demonstrated throughout this essay. Eddie Koiki Mabo was born on Murray Island in 1936 and was an Indigenous Australian. In 1974, during a conversation with two academics, Mabo became aware to the fact that his family did not own their traditional lands and that it was, in law, owned by the Crown. The Queensland Government wanted to remove any doubt that the Meriam people had total rights over the islands. So in 1985 it had the Parliament pass the Queensland Coast Islands Declaratory Act. This Act was to abolish any claims to title to the islands by the Murray Islanders. In 1981 a land rights conference was held at James Cook University where Mabo made a very important speech claiming land ownership and land inheritance in Murray Island. A lawyer attending the conference suggested that there should be a case to claim land rights through the court system and as a result, he along with others began a ten year journey to gain recognition of native title. Native title is the term used to identify the extent to which Australian Law recognises the prior rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, under their own traditional laws, in relation to Australian land and waters. They took legal action against this Act, successfully arguing that the Act was contrary to the Racial Discrimination Act, and was therefore invalid. Further action was taken in the High Court to rightfully own the justice of the Meriam people declared. The Native Title is effective in Mabo’s case in several ways as it recognises and protects the rights of native title in Australia. It provides for the validation of any...
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