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The Australian National University

Mabo and Native Title: Origins and Institutional Implications

Research Monograph 7 / 1994

Abstract

The High Court's recognition of native title in the Mabo judgements of June 1992 was a major development in Australian law and history. The Commonwealth Government sought to respond to that development and by the latter half of 1993 was attempting to pass native title legislation. The papers collected here explore both the origins and institutional implications of the recognition of native title. The first paper explores the local political and cultural origins of the Mabo case in the Murray Islands of the Torres Strait. The second paper is concerned with the historical and legal origins of the new Australian jurisprudence which recognises native title, in contrast to the old jurisprudence which denied it. The later papers are concerned with the legal, political and economic implications of the recognition of native title. The papers were initially delivered at a seminar series at the ANU in November 1993, when the Commonwealth's native title legislation was before the Parliament. Some were revised in early 1994 in the light of the legislation passed, others are printed as delivered. They are, together, a useful record of a very important time.

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