Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia Limited

Doctrine of Discovery Intervention

Intervention of the Indigenous Peoples Organisation of Australia at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – April 2010

This intervention elaborates on the history and impacts of the legal fictions of the Doctrines of Discovery in the USA and Terra Nullius in Australia on Indigenous peoples. It recommended that the Permanent Forum conduct and coordinate a comprehensive review of the Doctrines of Discovery and Terra Nullius and other similar doctrines around the world that have been used as  a legal basis to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands and also current laws that perpetuate the doctrines, in order to recommend how their impact can be unravelled.

Doctrine of Discovery Intervention.pdf

Contact ALSWA

1800 019 900
ALSWA Freecall from anywhere in WA.

7 Aberdeen Street
Perth WA 6000
(near McIver Train Station)

Phone: +61 8 9265 6666
Fax: +61 8 9221 1767
08 9265 6644
Send a message

ALSWA Services

ALSWA provides legal advice and representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in WA in Criminal, Family, Civil and Human Rights Law with additional services in community legal education, advocacy and the protection and promotion of human rights .

For detailed information about the services ALSWA provides, click the button below:

View our services


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that this website may contain images and names of people who have passed away.

Sponsored By


Banner images by GDAYWA