The term which was most contested in the Mabo and Wik decision was the terra nullius which is translated from Latin as “Land belonging to no one.” When the expansion of the Europeans began in the 1800s they used this term to describe the lands owned by the Indigenous people of Australia. According to their edicts the lands which were present there were owned by no one and were under the jurisdiction of the crown.
At first it was used to claim lands that were owned by no one. Eventually the edict evolved to include those societies which were considered uncivilized and thus having no rights. Through such adversities, they have fought for years to gain back the rights which were theirs all those years ago and have succeeded. In their success however there is also a reaction of a different sort. This essay will focus on how the Mabo and Wik decision affected mining in Australia.
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