The genealogy of Terra Nullius

  title={The genealogy of Terra Nullius},
  author={Andrew Fitzmaurice},
  journal={Australian Historical Studies},
  pages={1 - 15}
This article examines the genealogy of the term terra nullius, which remains elusive even as it is now clear that the term is absent from the eighteenth‐ and early nineteenth‐century historical record.1 I show, however, that terra nullius was generated by the history of European expansion and, specifically, by the natural law tradition that since the sixteenth century was employed to debate the justice of colonisation. I conclude that the contemporary use of the idea of terra nullius is… 
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