Posts Tagged ‘terra nullius’

CAPE YORK TO SOUTH CAPE – YOUR LAND IS MY LAND

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

‘Discovery gave what was termed an inchoate title which could only be developed further by actual occupation’. Henry Reynolds, Aboriginal Sovereignty, Three Nations, One Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1996

1770 – 22 August, Cape York: In the name of King George III of England Lieutenant James Cook, without consent of its owners, claimed ‘discovery’ of the entire coast of New Holland from ‘Cape York in the most northern extremity…to South Cape’.

‘Hugh Grotius [1538-1645] remark[ed] that an act of discovery was sufficient to give clear title to sovereignty ‘only when it is accompanied by actual possession’. Reynolds. op.cit.

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A CRACKER-JACK OPINION – NO SWEAT

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

The whole claim of sovereignty and ownership on the basis of terra nullius was manifestly based on a misreading of Australian circumstance, not that this prevented Phillip from hoisting the Union Jack in 1788 and expropriating the owners of Sydney Cove.

Not until the High Court gave its Mabo judgement in 1992 was there a legal recognition that Aborigines owned and possessed their traditional lands’. Stuart Mac Intyre, A Concise History of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 2004 

ACTUAL OCCUPATION: ‘EXISTING IN FACT’ – OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

1771 – England: In  July 1771 Lieutenant James Cook RN returned to England from the Endeavour voyage and reported New Holland was inhabited.

‘The natives of the country…live in Tranquility which is not disturb’d by the inequality of condition’. James Cook, Endeavour Journal

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