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In the 1823 decision of Johnson v. M’Intosh, Chief Justice John Marshall formulated the international law of colonialism. Known as the Doctrine of Discovery, Marshall’s opinion drew on the practices of European nations during the Age of Exploration to legitimize European acquisition of territory owned and occupied by Indigenous peoples. Two centuries later, Johnson—and the international law of colonialism—remains good law throughout the world. In this Article we examine how the Doctrine of Discovery was adapted and applied in Australia and the United States. As Indigenous peoples continue to press for a re-examination of their relationships with governments, we also consider whether and how the international law of colonialism has been mitigated or unraveled in these two countries. While we find that the Doctrine lingers, close examination provides several important lessons for all Indigenous nations and governments burdened by colonization.

Robert J. Miller & Harry Hobbs, Unraveling the International Law of Colonialism: Lessons From Australia and the United States, 28 Mich. J. Race & L. 271 (2023). Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol28/iss2/3


Robert J. Miller, "Unraveling the International Law of Colonialism: Lessons From Australia and the United States," Doctrine of Discovery Project (20 December 2023), https://doctrineofdiscovery.org/blog/doctrine-discovery-australia/.

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