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The Regimentation of Customary Practice: From Northern Territory Land Claims to Mabo

The Regimentation of Customary Practice: From Northern Territory Land Claims to Mabo The Regimentation of Customary Practice: From Northern Territory Land Claims to Mabo Francesca Merlan Anthropology, University of Sydney Introduction Australians recently witnessed intense public discussion of the historic High Court decision in Mabo v Queensland “0.21, handed down in June 1992, and of the subsequent Native Title Act, enacted by Parliament in December 1993. The main finding of the High Court was that Murray Islanders of the Torres Strait have native title to the lands they claimed as theirs. The decision was portentous beyond this specific case, for it both recognised the general concept of native title in the common law, and left open the possibility that it may have survived colonisation elsewhere, except where ‘valid extinguishment’ is considered to have supervened. Even before the passage of the Native Title legislation, indigenous people in other parts of Australia began to lodge claims to native title. A Native Title Tribunal established under the 1993 Act has sought to develop processes of mediation, rather than refer numerous cases to the Federal Court for probably time-consuming and costly legal resolution. Mabo (by which I mean here both the High Court case and Native Title legislation) was preceded by years, indeed decades, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Australian Journal of Anthropology Wiley

The Regimentation of Customary Practice: From Northern Territory Land Claims to Mabo

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References (15)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1035-8811
eISSN
1757-6547
DOI
10.1111/j.1835-9310.1995.tb00145.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Regimentation of Customary Practice: From Northern Territory Land Claims to Mabo Francesca Merlan Anthropology, University of Sydney Introduction Australians recently witnessed intense public discussion of the historic High Court decision in Mabo v Queensland “0.21, handed down in June 1992, and of the subsequent Native Title Act, enacted by Parliament in December 1993. The main finding of the High Court was that Murray Islanders of the Torres Strait have native title to the lands they claimed as theirs. The decision was portentous beyond this specific case, for it both recognised the general concept of native title in the common law, and left open the possibility that it may have survived colonisation elsewhere, except where ‘valid extinguishment’ is considered to have supervened. Even before the passage of the Native Title legislation, indigenous people in other parts of Australia began to lodge claims to native title. A Native Title Tribunal established under the 1993 Act has sought to develop processes of mediation, rather than refer numerous cases to the Federal Court for probably time-consuming and costly legal resolution. Mabo (by which I mean here both the High Court case and Native Title legislation) was preceded by years, indeed decades,

Journal

The Australian Journal of AnthropologyWiley

Published: Dec 1, 1995

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