timeline - 1992 Mabo Case Acknowledged Indigenous rights...

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1992 Mabo Case Acknowledged Indigenous rights derived from traditional practices and occupancy rights in some circumstances survived colonization (Robbins 141) Represents a shift in Australia's constitutional foundation (Robbins 141) Not an explicit acknowledgment of Indigenous sovereignty (Robbins 142) If the validity of pre-contact Indigenous proprietary laws are now acknowledged, surely it suggests that Indigenous political and legal authority was intact and sov- ereign at the time of contact (Robbins 142) The High Court decision reversed the legal function that Australia was terra nullius upon colonization and therefore the common-law doctrine of Aboriginal or native title applies (Bartlett 249) It is imperative in today's world that the common law should neither be nor be seen to be frozen in an age of racial discrimination…A common law doctrine founded on unjust discrimination in the enjoyment of civil and political rights demands re- consideration (Bartlett 250) 1993 Native Title Act Importance of Land Rights Basis for development of a secure social, cultural, economic base. Basis for claim- ing compensation and achieving proper health, education, legal and child care services (Behrendt 173) 1996 Howard Government Howard wanted an Australia to be a single undivided nation where all Australians (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) are treated equally, governed by a common set of laws, equally accountable by a set of common values and common principles.
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