Mabo v Queensland (No 2) (1992) 175 CLR 1
1. Case details
Parties: Mabo and Others; State of Queensland
Court: High Court of Australia
Judges: Mason CJ, Brennan, Deane, Dawson, Toohey, Gaudron and McHugh JJ Dates: 28-31 May 1991 and 3 June 1992
Catchwords: Aborigines, native title, Constitutional law, reception of common law in Australian and other, settled colonies, terra nullius, Real Property
Procedural history: the High Court of Australia exercised its original jurisdiction in this matter; see also Mabo v Queensland (1988) 166 CLR 186 and Mabo v Queensland (1986) 64 ALR 1.
2. Material facts
The Merriam people have lived on the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait since well before the colonization of Australia by the British in 1788. The Merriam people have a form of law that regulates their society including the land in their society. The Merriam law was observed by the Merriam people since well before colonization and continues to be observed by the Merriam people. In 1982 the Queensland parliament passed the Queensland Amendment Act 1982 which purported to regulate certain aspects of land including the land of the Merriam people. The Merriam people, led by Eddie Mabo and others, objected to the purported effects of the Queensland Amendment Act 1982 as far as they concerned their land and challenged the legality of the Act by initiating proceedings against the Queensland government in the High Court of Australia. The Queensland Government then enacted the Queensland Coast Islands Declaratory Act 1985 which purported to remove any “other rights, interests and claims whatsoever” in the material land. The Merriam people challenged the Queensland government in the High Court regarding the legality of the Queensland Coast Islands Declaratory Act 1985. This judgment of this action was recorded in Mabo v Queensland (1988) 166 CLR 186, which became known as Mabo No 1. Mabo No 1 held that the Queensland...