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Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd (1971) 17 FLR 141

Category: Case Law
Sub Category:Case Law
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Alternative Names:
  • Gove Land Rights Case
  • Subject Matter:Native Title | Mining and Minerals
    Summary Information:
    'In the Milirrpum case the Yolnga people brought an action against the Nabalco Corporation which had secured a twelve year mining lease from the Federal Government. The Plaintiffs claimed they enjoyed sovereign rights over their land and sought declarations to occupy the land free from interference pursuant to their native title rights.
    Blackburn J categorically held that native title was not part of the law of Australia and went on to add that even had it existed any native title rights were extinguished. Additionally if extinguishment had not occurred the Plaintiffs were unable to prove the elements required to establish native title.'
    However, the Judge did acknowledge the claimants' ritual and economic use of the land and that they had an established system of law.
    Until overturned by Mabo two decades later, the law on native title remained as enunciated by Blackburn J.

    Related Entries

  • Nabalco Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Event
  • Yirrkala Bark Petitions
  • Case Law
  • Mabo v Queensland [No 2] (1992) 175 CLR 1
  • Mabo v Queensland 166 CLR 186 (8 December 1988)

  • Glossary

    Native Title (Australia)

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