Stanner Award Winner 2015
Aboriginal peoples in Australia have the oldest living cultures in the world. From 1788 the British colonisation of Australia marginalised Aboriginal communities from land and water
resources and their traditional rights and interests. More recently, the national water reforms further disenfranchised Aboriginal communities from their property rights in water, continuing to embed severe disadvantage.
Overturning aqua nullius aims to cultivate a new understanding of Aboriginal water rights and interests in the context of Aboriginal water concepts and water policy development in Australia.
In this award-winning work, Dr Marshall argues that Aboriginal water rights require legal recognition as property rights, and that water access and water infrastructure are integral to successful economic enterprise in Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal peoples' social, cultural and economic certainty rests on their right to control and manage customary water.
Drawing on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Marshall argues that the reservation of Aboriginal water rights needs to be prioritised above the water rights and interests of other groups. It is only then that we can sweep away the injustice of aqua nullius and provide the first Australians with full recognition and status of their water rights and interests.
- 235mm x 155mm x 20mm
- Released February 2017
- ISBN 9781922059093
About The Author
Virginia Marshall is a Wiradjuri Nyemba woman who commenced legal practice in 2003. In 2005 she became an Executive Officer leading the Aboriginal Water Trust and was a member of the inaugural Indigenous Water Summit established by the National Water Commission.
Since 2013 she has been the Principal Solicitor of Triple BL Legal specialising in intellectual property and traditional knowledge and commercial and contracts law.
Marshall was the first Aboriginal woman to graduate from Macquarie University with a PhD in Law. For over a decade she has been an active member of the Law Society of NSW for whom she has written and taught in criminal, environmental law and conveyancing practice.
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