Indigenous sea rights



Publication Details

Russell, D. 2010, 'Indigenous sea rights', in H. Yeatman (eds), The SInet 2010 eBook (Proceedings of the SInet 2009 Conference), Social Innovation Network (SInet), University of Wollongong, Wollongong, pp. 216-226.


Philosophers have a long history of trying to clarify and defend human rights. This has taken various forms, e.g. the battles against slavery, sexism and racism. In Australia as well as other countries the defence of land rights for indigenous people has received support in recent times while sea rights are usually overlooked. This article focusses on Australia and moves by indigenous people to assert ownership over the sea around their lands. What ideas underpin these initiatives and the attempts to block them? The ‘seamark’ High Court Blue Mud Bay case in 2008 marks a significant advance in the recognition of sea rights.