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Discovering Indigenous Lands – The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies

Robert J. Miller, Jacinta Ruru, Larissa Behrendt, and Tracey Lindberg


England explored and colonized the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada under the authority of an international law called the Doctrine of Discovery. When Europeans set out to exploit and expropriate the lands, commercial, governmental, and human rights of the indigenous peoples of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States in the 15th through to the 20th centuries, they justified their sovereignty and claims over these territories and over indigenous peoples with the Discovery Doctrine. This legal principle was justified by religious and ethnocentric ideas of European ... More

Keywords: indigenous peoples, Doctrine of Discovery, indigenous rights, colonization, legal history, comparative law, indigenous lands

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199579815
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579815.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert J. Miller, author
Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon

Jacinta Ruru, author
Senior Lecturer, University of Otago

Larissa Behrendt, author
Professor of Law and Director of Research, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology, Sydney