The Mabo Litigation 1982-1992: a Power-Point Presentation

Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC

In this power-point lecture, I will describe, and comment upon, by reference to my own photos and other materials, the course of the Mabo claim over a decade, including the land and sea areas claimed on and around Murray Island; the relevant customs and traditions concerning traditional rights to land that the plaintiffs sought to prove; evidential difficulties encountered such as objections to evidence as 'hearsay'; personalities involved amongst plaintiffs, witnesses, and lawyers; various personal, legal and funding crises facing the plaintiffs; the Supreme Court’s visit to Mer to view areas and hear evidence in 1989; legal and tactical issues encountered both at trial before the Queensland Supreme Court and before the High Court arguing Mabo (No 1) (1988) and Mabo (No 2) (1992); and other matters.