Case Study Mabo/Essay Federalism

2851 Words Dec 17th, 2011 12 Pages
FEDERALISM
Federalism is a form of government which unites separate political entities, within a national system whilst still retaining their independence (AUSTRALIANPOLITICS.COM, 2011). In this essay it will be discussed that the ‘Mabo Decision’ and the implementation of the Native Title Act, 1993, is an example of this and will be analysed whilst unearthing the challenges and benefits which were exhumed within this historical test case, whilst explaining the impact of the High Court Ddecision.

The Australian system of government is a federal system incorporating characteristics of both the British system and that of the United States. The Australian Constitution provides for a Westminster type parliament, an upper house (Senate) and
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The First Australians SBS (1989).’

Malo’s Law is a strict law of a spirit which Murray Islanders had practiced for hundreds of years. The main law below as explained by Father Dave Passi, “Tag Mauki Mauki, Teter Mauki Mauki”, which translates to:
“Your hand can’t take something that does not belong to you unless you have permission. Your feet cannot walk in, or through someone else’s land, unless there is permission. Father Dave Passi, First Australians SBS (2008)”.
The Queensland Supreme Court Judge, Justice Moynihan, also went for a trek into the Murray Island reserve to see first hand the native border control measures which have been in place for many years by the local people. These included certain landmarks, trees, rock formations etc. These have been recognised locally for generations. It was also pointed out that these land parcels under tribal law were passed on from Father to Son and never could be traded for currency.
Edward Koiki Mabo’s mother had passed away weeks after his birth and was the adopted son of his uncle, as was the Meriam nation’s people’s cultural tradition. This was to be a major deciding factor in the decision of Mabo and Others v Queensland (No. 1, 1988), the core argument from Queensland was that Mabo was not the person he said he was.
In 1990, Justice Moynihan’s report was presented to the High Court in Canberra. It found in favour of the Murray

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