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Mabo v. Queensland

High Court of Australia
107 A.L.R. 1 (1992)


Facts

The Merriam people (plaintiffs) are the indigenous tribe of the Murray Islands, which are located off the coast of Australia (defendant). In 1879, explorers from the United Kingdom arrived on the Murray Islands and declared it part of the Crown, of which Australia was also a part. According to the Crown, any title the Merriam people had to their land was extinguished at the time the Crown became their new sovereign. The Merriam people brought this lawsuit to establish their legal rights to the land on the Murray Islands.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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