Australia Aboriginals win right to sue for colonial land loss

Australia Aboriginals win right to sue for colonial land loss

- The High Court of Australia has passed a “native title” ruling that will allow Aboriginal Australians to receive billions of dollars in compensation for land lost to settlers

- This is the biggest ruling surrounding first nations land rights to be passed in decades

- The ruling is an interesting development when compared to the current debates going on in South Africa surrounding land issues

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The Australian High Court has just passed a historical ruling that will allow Aboriginal persons to claim compensation for colonial land loss.

Aboriginal Australians will now be able to sue for “loss of rights to the land, loss of economic income related to the land and loss of spiritual connection to the land.”

According to Al Jazeera, the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Aboriginal groups won $2.3 million in 2016, for the disregard of the groups’ land rights in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

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Many thought that the part of the compensation package which was awarded for “spiritual harm”, which amounted to about $1 million, was excessive, but this week the high court ruled in favour of the Aboriginal groups.

"This is a very important case because it is the first time the High Court has set out the principles for compensation. State lawyers will be particularly interested in analysing their compensation liabilities," native title lawyer, Megan Brayne, said.

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This new ruling which compensates Aboriginal Australians for land loss is an interesting development when compared to South Africa’s land situation. has previously reported on what 2019 holds for the issue of land expropriation in South Africa, which is currently a hot topic in our country.

With this Australian High Court ruling making headlines across the world, it’s only a matter of time before other countries consider similar compensation strategies when it comes to colonial land loss.

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