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Keines Menschen Land? Das Rechtsprinzip der terra nullius und das historische Unrecht friedlicher Kolonialisierung

This paper is divided into three parts: it first gives an historical analysis of the legal concept of 'no man's land' (in Latin: terra nullius) and its role in legal and theological controversies surrounding the colonisation of the Americas. It then goes on to show how these Hispanic debates form the basis for Locke's views in the matter. Finally, it addresses the question to which extent Locke's erroneous presumptions still shape contemporary legal discourse. To this end, the 1992 landmark decision of the Australian High Court in Mabo v Queensland is analysed in depth. Even though the court was right in rescinding the concept of terra nullius, the judges were insufficiently aware of its colonial roots. 

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Keines Menschen Land? Das Rechtsprinzip der terra nullius und das historische Unrecht friedlicher Kolonialisierung
Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2009.