Series Details

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Series ID20404
Previous System Location 
TitleCorrespondence Generated by the Defence - Mabo and Ors v the State of Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 2)
Parent Series
This series does not have a parent series.
Start Date Circa 20/5/1982
End Date Circa 3/6/1992
Date Statement 20 May 1982 to 3 Jun 1992 are the official start and end dates of the Mabo Court case; however, some background records may be dated before 1982.
Date Notes N/A
Abstract

Correspondence of the Solicitor General's Office (1937-1989), Crown Solicitor's Office (1989-1991) and Crown Law Division of the Department of Justice (1991-1992) re. Mabo and Ors v the State of Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia (No.2).

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Items Total Items: 0
Departmental NumbersN/A
System of Arrangement Chronological by year.
How To Use Series Search correspondence by year.
 

Creating Agencies

Agency IDTitleFromTo
7339Solicitor General's Office II 20/5/1982 23/10/1989
8782Crown Solicitor's Office III 23/10/1989 1/5/1991
8783Crown Law (Department of Justice and Attorney-General) 1/5/1991 3/6/1992
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Access and Restrictions

Access Category100 Years
Access ProcedurePermission to access restricted material by responsible agency
Agency Now Responsible
Agency ID: 8620
Department of Justice and Attorney-General (II)
Restriction DetailsN/A
Regulation Details
N/A
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Copyright Status

Copyright State of Queensland
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Remarks

Information Sources

Description

This series documents some of the native land title claim launched in 1982 in the High Court by Eddie Mabo, Celuia Mapo Salee, Sam Passi, David Passi, and James Rice (the Plaintiffs) against the State of Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia (the Defendants). It contains inwards/outwards correspondence received and generated by the Defence (the Solicitor General's Office (1937-1989), the Crown Solicitor's Office (1989-1991) and the Crown Law Division of the Department of Justice (1991-1992)), with respect to "Mabo and Ors v the State of Queensland (No.2)".

The Claim: The plaintiffs claimed that they had lived in permanently settled communities on the islands and had maintained a valid and traditional connection with the land. Although they acknowledged that sovereignty was asserted by the British Crown upon annexation, they argued that their native rights to traditional lands had not been extinguished by the Crown's granting of land to others. On behalf of the Meriam people, through the Statement of Claim issued on 20 May 1982, the plaintiffs maintained that compensation was owed to them in relation to dealings with the claimed land. The original Statement of Claim identified five plaintiffs. Celuia Mapo Salee died shortly after the claim was filed and David Passi and Sam Passi both withdrew as plaintiffs. David Passi returned to the case in June 1989.

The hearings were convened at the direction of the High Court to determine issues of fact raised in the High Court Mabo Native Title case. The case revealed much about the Murray (Mer) Islanders' land system, including its relative flexibility, points of internal conflict and potential for change over time. on 3 June 1992 a legal and historical precedent was set when the High Court delivered its ruling in the plaintiffs' favour. The decision recognised that Aboriginal native title had existed prior to European settlement and consequently rejected the legal doctrine of terra nullius (a land 'practically unoccupied'; at the point of Britain's proclaimed sovereignty).

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Preferred Citation

Queensland State Archives Series ID 20404, Correspondence Generated by the Defence - Mabo and Ors v the State of Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 2)
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ )
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