The unclaimed areas of Antarctica, including all of Marie Byrd Land
The unclaimed areas of Antarctica, including all of Marie Byrd Land

Terra nullius (/ˈtɛrə nʌˈləs/, plural terrae nullius) is a Latin expression meaning "nobody's land".[1] It was a principle sometimes used in international law to justify claims that territory may be acquired by a state's occupation of it.[a][3]


Many scholars have noted the similarity between the terra nullius principle and the Roman law term res nullius, meaning nobody's thing. In Roman law, res nullius, or things without owners, such as wild animals (ferae bestiae), lost slaves and abandoned buildings could be taken as property by anyone by seizure. Therefore, some scholars have argued that terra nullius stems from res nullius, but others disagree and claim that the derivation is "by analogy" only.[4][b]

A part of the debate over the history of terra nullius is when the term itself was first used. Both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary trace the origin of the term to mid-19th-century Latin neologisms. The American legal historian Stuart Banner has located an earlier usage of the term from 1819 in a tax dispute between the English-born Australian Supreme Court judge and poet Barron Field and the Governor of New South Wales Lachlan Macquarie. [5] There is now some recognition that Field originated the term in its contemporary legal sense. The academic Justin Clemens claims that Field made "the first formal statement of terra nullius" in Australia.[6]

According to historian of ideas Andrew Fitzmaurice, territorium nullius and terra nullius were two different, albeit related, legal terms. He claims that territorium nullius was first used in a meeting of the Institut de Droit International in 1888 where the legal principles of the Berlin conference were discussed and that terra nullius was introduced twenty years later during legal disputes over the polar regions.[7] Historian M. Connor on the other hand, argues that territorium nullius and terra nullius are the same thing.[8] Both scholars are active in the Australian "history wars" debate.

There is considerable debate among historians about how and when the terra nullius concepts were used. The debate has been especially prevalent in Australia where it was ignited by the history wars caused by the Mabo case in 1992, a landmark decision which decided in favour of native title in Australia and was a pivotal moment in the history of indigenous land rights in Australia. The history wars caused Australian historians to reevaluate the country's history, the dispossession of Aboriginal Australians and whether the land should best be characterised as having been "settled" or "conquered". A part of this debate was over whether terra nullius was ever used by England and other European powers to justify territorial conquest.[c]

Sociologist Robert van Krieken wrote:

As such, the 'rejection of terra nullius' is arguably more about Australian history and moral community than Australian jurisprudence. It also had the rather perverse effect, in the subsequent public debate around the decision, of diverting our attention from the fact that there were strong reasons of law to recognise native title, and made the High Court far more vulnerable to the criticism of 'excessive judicial activism' than the substance of the case itself demanded.[9]

On one side of the debate are historians such as Alan Frost and Henry Reynolds who claim that in the 15th and 16th century, European writers adopted the res nullius concept for territorial conquest. Frost writes:

By the mid–eighteenth century, the theoretical basis of a new convention of acquiring empire had emerged. If a European state (a Christian Prince) had already established an effective possession of a region, another might acquire title to it only by formal cession (which might or might not involve outright purchase). If the region was not already possessed by a rival, then a state might acquire it in one of three ways, viz.:[10]
– by persuading the indigenous inhabitants to submit themselves to its overlordship;
– by purchasing from those inhabitants the right to settle part or parts of it;
– by unilateral possession, on the basis of first discovery and effective occupation.

Historians debate whether "first discovery and effective occupation" was applied to territory inhabited by indigenous peoples that European colonial powers sought to acquire or not. According to Frost:

However, if the indigenes had advanced beyond the state of nature only so far as to have developed language and the community of the family, but no further; if they had not yet mixed their labour with the earth in any permanent way; or if the region were literally uninhabited, then Europeans considered it to be terra nullius (i.e., belonging to no one), to which they might gain permanent title by first discovery and effective occupation.[10]

On the other side of the debate are historians which claim that terra nullius is a much younger concept, which did not become formalized before the end of the 19th century. Historian M. Borch writes:

When the wealth of material relevant to this issue is surveyed it seems much more likely that there was no legal doctrine maintaining that inhabited land could be regarded as ownerless, nor was this the basis of official policy, in the eighteenth century or before. Rather it seems to have developed as a legal theory in the nineteenth century.[11]

These historians claim instead that territorial conquest was justified from natural law – that which has no owner can be taken by the first taker. Michael Connor in his book The Invention of Terra Nullius takes an even more extreme view and argues that no one in the 19th century thought of Australia as being terra nullius. He calls the concept a legal fiction, a straw man developed in the late 20th century:

By the time of Mabo in 1992, terra nullius was the only explanation for the British settlement of Australia. Historians, more interested in politics than archives, misled the legal profession into believing that a phrase no one had heard of a few years before was the very basis of our statehood, and Reynolds' version of our history, especially The Law of the Land, underpinned the Mabo judges' decision-making.[12]

Current claims of terra nullius


See also: Marie Byrd Land

While several countries have made claims to parts of Antarctica in the first half of the 20th century, the remainder, including most of Marie Byrd Land (the portion east from 150°W to 90°W), has not been claimed by any sovereign state. Signatories to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 agreed not to make such claims, except the Soviet Union and the United States, who reserved the right to make a claim.

Bir Tawil

Main article: Bir Tawil

Further information: Egypt–Sudan border

Simplified map showing Egypt's territory (yellow), Sudan's territory (blue), the disputed Halaib Triangle (light green), Wadi Halfa Salient (dark green), and the unclaimed Bir Tawil (white).
Simplified map showing Egypt's territory (yellow), Sudan's territory (blue), the disputed Halaib Triangle (light green), Wadi Halfa Salient (dark green), and the unclaimed Bir Tawil (white).

Bir Tawil is an example of a territory often claimed to be terra nullius.[d] Between Egypt and Sudan is the 2,060 km2 (800 sq mi) landlocked territory of Bir Tawil, which was created by a discrepancy between borders drawn in 1899 and 1902. One border placed Bir Tawil under the Sudan's control and the Halaib Triangle under Egypt's; the other border did the reverse. Each country asserts the border that would give it the much larger Hala'ib Triangle, to the east, which is adjacent to the Red Sea, with the side effect that Bir Tawil is unclaimed by either country (each claims the other owns it). Bir Tawil has no settled population, but the land is used by Bedouins who roam the area.[d]

Gornja Siga and other pockets

Main article: Croatia–Serbia border dispute

The Croatia–Serbia border dispute in the Bačka and Baranja area. The Croatian claim corresponds to the red line, while the Serbian claim corresponds to the course of the .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Under Serbian control, claimed by Croatia  Under de facto Croatian control, although not claimed by either Croatia or Serbia
The Croatia–Serbia border dispute in the Bačka and Baranja area. The Croatian claim corresponds to the red line, while the Serbian claim corresponds to the course of the Danube.
  Under Serbian control, claimed by Croatia
  Under de facto Croatian control, although not claimed by either Croatia or Serbia

Serbia and Croatia dispute several small areas on the east bank of the Danube. However, some pockets on the west bank, of which Gornja Siga is the largest, are not claimed by either country. Croatia states the pockets are Serbian, while Serbia makes no claims on the land.[16]

On 13 April 2015, Vít Jedlička from the Czech Party of Free Citizens proclaimed the right-libertarian micronation of Liberland on Gornja Siga.[17][18] The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has rejected these claims, stating that the differing border claims between Serbia and Croatia do not involve terra nullius, and are not subject to occupation by a third party.[19] The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on 24 April 2015 that while Serbia considers "Liberland" to be a frivolous matter, it does not impinge upon the Serbian border, which is delineated by the Danube River.[20]

Historical claims of terra nullius

Several territories have been claimed to be terra nullius. In a minority of those claims, international and domestic courts have ruled on whether the territory is or was terra nullius or not.


Burkina Faso and Niger

A narrow strip of land adjacent to two territorial markers along the Burkina FasoNiger border was claimed by neither country until the International Court of Justice settled a more extensive territorial dispute in 2013. The former unclaimed territory was awarded to Niger.[21]

Western Sahara

Main article: Advisory opinion on Western Sahara

At the request of Morocco, the International Court of Justice in 1975 addressed whether Western Sahara was terra nullius at the time of Spanish colonization in 1885. The court found in its advisory opinion that Western Sahara was not terra nullius at that time.


Pinnacle Islands (Diaoyu Islands/Senkaku Islands)

A disputed archipelago in the East China Sea, the uninhabited Pinnacle Islands, were claimed by Japan to have become part of its territory as terra nullius in January 1895, following the Japanese victory in the First Sino-Japanese War. However, this interpretation is not accepted by the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (Taiwan), both of whom claim sovereignty over the islands.

Scarborough Shoal (South China Sea)

The People's Republic of China and the Philippines both claim the Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal or Huangyan Island (simplified Chinese: 黄岩岛; traditional Chinese: 黃巖島; pinyin: Huángyán Dǎo), nearest to the island of Luzon, located in the South China Sea. The Philippines claims it under the principles of terra nullius and EEZ (exclusive economic zone). China's claim refers to its discovery in the 13th century by Chinese fishermen (the former Nationalist government on the Chinese mainland had also claimed this territory after the founding of the Republic of China in 1911). However, despite China's position of non-participation in an UNCLOS case, in 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) denied the lawfulness of China's "nine-dash line" claim.[22][23][24][25][26]

Despite this, China continues to build artificial islands in the South China Sea, and Scarborough Shoal is a prime location[citation needed] for another one. Chinese ships have been seen in the vicinity of the shoal. Analysis of photos has concluded that the ships lack dredging equipment and therefore represent no imminent threat of reclamation work.[27]



According to Ian Mitchell, Rockall was terra nullius until it was claimed by the United Kingdom in 1955. It was formally annexed in 1972.[28][29][30]


One of the few micronations to control a physical location, the Principality of Sealand has existed de facto since 1967 on an abandoned British anti-aircraft gun tower in the North Sea. At the point when it was taken over, the tower had been abandoned by the Royal Navy and was outside British territorial waters.[31] Paddy Roy Bates, who styled himself Prince, claimed that it was terra nullius. Despite rejecting this claim on the basis that the tower is an artificial structure, the British government has never attempted to evict the Sealanders, and a court in 1968 confirmed that at that point, the tower was outside British jurisdiction.[32]

In 1987, Britain extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 nmi (5.6 to 22.2 km; 3.5 to 13.8 mi), meaning that Sealand is now within them.[33]


Denmark–Norway, the Dutch Republic, the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Scotland all claimed sovereignty over the archipelago of Svalbard in the seventeenth century, but none permanently occupied it. Expeditions from each of these polities visited Svalbard principally during the summer for whaling, with the first two sending a few wintering parties in the 1620s and 1630s.[7]

During the 19th century, both Norway and Russia made strong claims to the archipelago. In 1909, Italian jurist Camille Piccioni described Spitzbergen, as it was then known, as terra nullius:

The issue would have been simpler if Spitzbergen, until now terra nullius, could have been attributed to a single state, for reasons of neighbouring or earlier occupation. But this is not the case and several powers can, for different reasons, make their claims to this territory which still has no master.[34]

The territorial dispute was eventually resolved by the Svalbard Treaty of 9 February 1920 which recognized Norwegian sovereignty over the islands.

North America


Joseph Trutch, the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, insisted that First Nations had never owned land, and thus their land claims could safely be ignored. It is for this reason that most of British Columbia remains unceded land.[35]

In Guerin v. The Queen, a Canadian Supreme Court decision of 1984 on aboriginal rights, the Court stated that the government has a fiduciary duty toward the First Nations of Canada and established aboriginal title to be a sui generis right. Since then there has been a more complicated debate and a general narrowing of the definition of "fiduciary duty".[citation needed]

Eastern Greenland

Norway occupied and claimed parts of (then uninhabited) eastern Greenland in 1931, claiming that it constituted terra nullius and calling the territory Erik the Red's Land.[36] The Permanent Court of International Justice ruled against the Norwegian claim. The Norwegians accepted the ruling and withdrew their claim.

United States

A similar concept of "uncultivated land" was employed by John Quincy Adams to identify supposedly unclaimed wilderness.[37]

Guano Islands

The Guano Islands Act of 18 August 1856 enabled citizens of the U.S. to take possession of islands containing guano deposits. The islands can be located anywhere, so long as they are not occupied and not within the jurisdiction of other governments. It also empowers the President of the United States to use the military to protect such interests, and establishes the criminal jurisdiction of the United States.



Further information: Indigenous land rights in Australia

Aboriginal peoples inhabited Australia for over 50,000 years before European settlement, which commenced in 1788, but Indigenous customs, rituals and laws were unwritten. It was formally claimed by the settlers that Australia was terra nullius at the time of settlement.[38] This is also described as a "doctrine of discovery".[39]

In 1971, in the controversial Northern Territory Supreme Court case of Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd, popularly known as the Gove land rights case, Justice Richard Blackburn ruled that Australia had been considered "desert and uncultivated" (a term which included territory in which resided "uncivilised inhabitants in a primitive state of society") before European settlement, and therefore, by the law that applied at the time, open to be claimed by right of occupancy, and that there was no such thing as native title in Australian law. The concept of terra nullius was not considered in this case, however.[40] Court cases in 1977, 1979, and 1982, brought by or on behalf of Aboriginal activists, challenged Australian sovereignty on the grounds that terra nullius had been improperly applied, therefore Aboriginal sovereignty should still be regarded as being intact. The courts rejected these cases, but the Australian High Court left the door open for a reassessment of whether the continent should be considered "settled" or "conquered".[41][42]

In 1982, Eddie Mabo and four other Torres Strait Islander people from Mer (Murray Island) started legal proceedings to establish their traditional land ownership. This led to Mabo v Queensland (No 1). In 1992, after ten years of hearings before the Queensland Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia, the latter court found in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) ("the Mabo case") that the Mer people had owned their land prior to annexation by the colony of Queensland (1872–1879).[43] The ruling thus had far-reaching significance for the land claims of all Indigenous Australians (both Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal Australians).

The controversy over Australian land ownership erupted into the "history wars". The 1992 Mabo decision overturned the doctrine of terra nullius in Australia.[44]

Clipperton Island

The sovereignty of Clipperton Island was settled by arbitration between France and Mexico. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy rendered a decision in 1931 that "'the sovereignty of Clipperton Island belongs to France from the date of November 17, 1858.' The Mexican claim was rejected for lack of proof of prior Spanish discovery and, in any event, no effective occupation by Mexico before 1858, when the island was therefore territorium nullius, and the French occupation then was sufficient and legally continuing."[45]

South Island of New Zealand

In 1840, the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, Captain William Hobson of the Royal Navy, following instructions from the British government, declared the Middle Island of New Zealand (later known as the "South Island") as terra nullius,[citation needed] and therefore fit for occupation by European settlers. Hobson's decision was also influenced by a small party of French settlers heading towards Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula to settle in 1840.[46][need quotation to verify]

South America


Patagonia was according to some considerations regarded a terra nullius in the 19th century. This notion ignored the Spanish Crown's recognition of indigenous Mapuche sovereignty and is considered by scholars Nahuelpán and Antimil to have set the stage for an era of Chilean "republican colonialism".[47]

Limits of national jurisdiction and sovereignty

View the following chart as if it was a "cross-section" of the earth, stretching from underground to outer space.

Limits of national jurisdiction and sovereignty
Outer space (including earth orbits; the moon and other celestial bodies, and their orbits)
national airspace territorial waters airspace contiguous zone airspace[citation needed]   international airspace
territorial land surface internal waters' surface territorial waters' surface contiguous zone surface waters exclusive economic zone waters' surface international waters' surface
internal waters territorial waters exclusive economic zone international waters
under ground surface in land territory surface waters overlying continental shelf surface waters overlying continental shelf surface waters overlying extended continental shelf international waters seabed surface
beneath continental shelf seabed beneath extended continental shelf seabed international waters beneath seabed
  full national jurisdiction and sovereignty
  restrictions on national jurisdiction and sovereignty
  international jurisdiction per common heritage of mankind

See also

Appropriation concepts


  1. ^ Even as to terra nullius, like a volcanic island, or territory abandoned by its former sovereign, a claimant by right as against all others has more to do than planting a flag or rearing a monument. From the 19th century the most generous settled view has been that discovery accompanied by symbolic acts give no more than "an inchoate title, an option, as against other states, to consolidate the first steps by proceeding to effective occupation within a reasonable time." — U.S. Supreme Court (1998) New Jersey v. New York[2]
  2. ^ Contrary to the view of some historians, our analysis will show that res nullius was a concept with firm foundation in Roman legal sources, but terra nullius was merely derived from the Roman concept of res nullius by analogy. — Benton & Strauman (2010) p 1[4]: 1 
  3. ^ Debates have arisen among historians about whether the term should be used to characterize rationals for late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth century imperial expansion, when the term itself was rarely – if ever – cited before the late nineteenth century. — Benton & Strauman (2010) p 6[4]: 6 
  4. ^ a b There is some disagreement of whether Bir Tawil is terra nullius or not. For example, see the news and analysis of Jeremiah Heaton's 2014 flag-planting in Bir Tawil, in an effort to make his daughter, Emily, a "princess" at Wash. Post,[13] Opinio Juris,[14] and KDVR Denver.[15]


  1. ^ Klotz, Frank G. (June 1998). America on the Ice: Antarctic policy issues. DIANE Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 0-7881-7048-1 – via Google Books. Antarctica was what international lawyers refers to as terra nullius – literally, "nobody's land".
  2. ^ "New Jersey v. New York, 523 US 767 (1998)". US (523). US Supreme Court. 26 May 1998. 523.US.767. Retrieved 29 January 2010. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Brownlie, I. (1990). Principles of Public International Law (4th ed.). p. 146.
    Hall, W.E. (1923). A Treatise on International Law. pp. 102–103.
    Hyde, C. (1945). International Law (revised 2nd ed.). p. 329.
    Moore, J. (1906). International Law. p. 258.
    Oppenheim, L. (1937). International Law (5th ed.). H. Lauterpacht. §§222-223, pp 439–441.
    Phillimore, R. (1871). International Law (2nd ed.). p. 273.
    Vattel, E. (1844). Law of Nations (6th Am. ed.). J. Chitty. §208, p 99.
  4. ^ a b c Benton, Lauren; Straumann, Benjamin (February 2010). "Acquiring empire by law: From Roman doctrine to early modern European practice". Law and History Review. American Society for Legal History. 28 (1): 1–38. doi:10.1017/S0738248009990022. JSTOR 40646121. S2CID 143079931.
  5. ^ Stuart, Banner (2005). "Why Terra Nullius? Anthropology and Property Law in Early Australia". Law and History Review. 23 (1): 95–131. doi:10.1017/S0738248000000067. JSTOR 30042845. S2CID 145484253.
  6. ^ Justin, Clemens (October 2018). "Barron Field and the myth of terra nullius". The Monthly.
  7. ^ a b Fitzmaurice, Andrew (2007). "The genealogy of terra nullius" (PDF). Australian Historical Studies. 38 (129): 1–15. doi:10.1080/10314610708601228. S2CID 59461350. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  8. ^ Connor, Michael (5 April 2006). "Null truth to academic accusations". 21 ProntoB. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  9. ^ Van Krieken, Robert (1 July 2000). "From Milirrpum to Mabo: The high court, terra nullius and moral entrepreneurship". UNSW Law Journal. 23 (1): 63 – via Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII).
  10. ^ a b Frost, Alan (1992). "Old colonisations and modern discontents: Legacies and concern" (PDF). Samuel Griffith Society Proceedings. 1. Chapter 11. "Papers by author". Samuel Griffith Society (
  11. ^ Borch, Merete (2001). "Rethinking the origins of terra nullius" (PDF). Australian Historical Studies. 32 (117): 222–239. doi:10.1080/10314610108596162. S2CID 144756641. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  12. ^ Connor, Michael (20 August 2003). "[no title cited]". The Bulletin. Sydney, NSW, AU.
    for further discussion see
    Connor, Michael (January 2005). The Invention of Terra Nullius: Historical and legal fictions on the foundation of Australia. Sydney, NSW, AU: Macleay Press. ISBN 1-876492-16-3.
  13. ^ Najarro, Ileana (12 July 2014). "V[irgini]a man plants flag, claims African country, calling it 'Kingdom of North Sudan'". The Washington Post. Washington, DC. Retrieved 21 August 2021.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Borgen, Chris (16 July 2014). "The man who would be king, daddy's little princess, and their territorial claim". Opinio Juris ( Retrieved 21 August 2021.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ Holden, Will C. (17 July 2014). "Man lays claim to African land to make daughter real life 'princess'". KDVR Denver, CO. Retrieved 30 March 2018.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Bartlett, Jamie (24 May 2016). "The crypto-libertarians using technology to undermine the nation-state". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  17. ^ "Liberland". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  18. ^ Martínek, Jan (15 April 2015). "Člen Svobodných vyhlásil na území bývalé Jugoslávie vlastní stát" (in Czech). Právo. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  19. ^ "On virtual narratives at Croatia's borders". Hungarian Embassy of the Republic of Croatia. Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  20. ^ McKirdy, Euan (25 April 2015). "Liberland: Could the world's newest micronation get off the ground?". CNN. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  21. ^ Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Niger) (Report). Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders. International Court of Justice. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  22. ^ Schofield, Clive (2016). "A landmark decision in the South China Sea: The scope and implications of the Arbitral Tribunal's award". Contemporary Southeast Asia. 38 (3): 339–348. doi:10.1355/cs38-3a. ISSN 0129-797X. JSTOR 24916757.
  23. ^ "Case nr. 2013-19" (PDF). Permanent Court of Arbitration. 2016.
  24. ^ Johnson, Jesse (12 July 2016). "Tribunal rejects Beijing's claims to South China Sea; Japan braces for reaction". The Japan Times. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  25. ^ Perlez, Jane (12 July 2016). "Tribunal rejects Beijing's claims in South China sea". The New York Times. New York, NY. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  26. ^ "Tribunal issues landmark ruling in South China Sea arbitration". Lawfare. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  27. ^ Mollman, Steve (11 September 2016). "The "strategic triangle" that would allow Beijing to control the South China Sea". Quartz. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  28. ^ Mitchell, Ian (2012). Isles of the North. Birlinn. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-85790-099-9 – via Google Books.
  29. ^ "21 September 1955: Britain claims Rockall". On This Day. BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation.
  30. ^ "Island Of Rockall Act 1972" (PDF). 10 February 1972.
  31. ^ "History of Sealand". The Principality of Sealand. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Regina v. Paddy Roy Bates and Michael Roy Bates". Chelmsford, UK: The Shire Hall. 25 October 1968. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2015 – via web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  33. ^ Ward, Mark (5 June 2000). "Offshore and offline?". UK. BBC News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  34. ^ Piccioni, Camille (1909). "Revue generale de droit international public". XVI. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  35. ^ Miller, Bruce Granville (October 2003). A short commentary on land claims in BC. 11th Annual National Land Claims Workshop. Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  36. ^ Jacobs, Frank (4 March 2015). "The cold war that wasn't: Norway annexes Greenland". Big Think ( Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  37. ^ A brief history of land transfers between American Indians and the United States Government. Clarke Historical Library (Report). Native American Material / Treaty Rights. Mount Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  38. ^ "Challenging Terra Nullius". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  39. ^ Miller, Robert J.; Ruru, Jacinta; Behrendt, Larissa; Lindberg, Tracey (2010). Discovering Indigenous Lands: The doctrine of discovery in the English colonies. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-957981-5.
  40. ^ Supreme Court of the Northern Territory (27 April 1971). Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd (Report). 17 FLR 141.((cite report)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  41. ^ "Mabo and native title". Australians Together. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  42. ^ Fogarty, John; Dwyer, Jacinta (2012). "The First Aboriginal Land Rights Case" (PDF). In Sykes, Helen (ed.). More or Less: Democracy & new media. Future Leaders. ISBN 978-0-9803320-7-0.
  43. ^ "Indigenous people still battle for land rights: Activist". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 June 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  44. ^ "Overturning the doctrine of terra nullius: The Mabo case" (PDF). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (
  45. ^ Ireland, Gordon (1941). Boundaries, Possessions, and Conflicts in Central and North America and the Caribbean. New York, NY: Octagon Books. p. 320.
  46. ^ O'Regan, Tipene (1989). "The Ngai Tahu claim". In Kawharu, Ian Hugh (ed.). Waitangi: Māori and Pākehā perspectives of the Treaty of Waitangi. Auckland, NZ / New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-558175-X. OCLC 643932154.
  47. ^ Nahuelpán Moreno, Héctor Javier; Antimil Caniupán, Jaime Anedo (2019). "Colonialismo republicano, violencia y subordinación racial mapuche en Chile durante el siglo XX" [Republican Colonialism, Violence and Mapuche Racial Subordination in Chile during the Twentieth Century]. Revista de historia regional y local (in Spanish). 11 (21): 211–248. doi:10.15446/historelo.v11n21.71500 – via Dialnet.


  • Connor, Michael (2005). The Invention of Terra Nullius. Sydney, NSW, AU: Macleay Press.
  • Culhane, Dara (1998). The Pleasure of the Crown: Anthropology, law, and the First Nations. Vancouver, BC: Talon Books.
  • Rowse, Tim (2001). "Terra nullius". In Davison, Graeme; Hirst, John; Macintyre, Stuart (eds.). The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Oxford University Press.
Lindqvist, Sven (2008) [2007]. Terra Nullius: A journey through no one's land. Translated by Death, Sarah (pbk ed.). London, UK: Granta. ISBN 978-1-84708-521-4,
"book info here". (author's website).