Guide to the Papers of Bryan Keon-Cohen

MS 9518

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Title
Papers of Bryan Keon-Cohen
Date Range
1981-2000 (bulk 1982-1994)
Collection Number
MS 9518
Extent
6.92 metres (12 boxes, 14 cartons + 4 folio boxes)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
National Library of Australia
Abstract
Mabo Litigation Records emanating from both the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. They comprise a Statement of Facts by the Plaintiffs, wills, land transactions, court transcripts, exhibits, pleadings, applications, witness statements, submissions, correspondence, memoranda and research material.

Introduction

Scope and Contents

The Mabo Litigation Records arise from the litigation conducted in both the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. They comprise a Statement of Facts by the Plaintiffs, wills, land transactions, court transcripts, exhibits, pleadings, applications, witness statements, submissions, correspondence, memoranda and research material. They have been arranged into volumes in broad chronological order. Many of the papers are in copy format, especially the research materials.

Other documents generated over the ten-year period of the litigation did not find their way into this set of materials. Pursuant to normal practice, the Judges' copies of exhibits were not released. A large quantity of other categories of material generated by various members of the Plaintiffs' team and the Defendants' team have not been included. Examples of such categories would have been cases, statutes and academic publications relevant to the Mabo Case, but readily available to the public.

In July 1996 the Library acquired some papers of Greg McIntyre. They were subsequently incorporated into the Keon-Cohen Papers. While the core group is in Volumes 64, 67 and 68, some McIntyre Papers may be found in other parts of the collection, for example Volume 8.

A detailed index of 246 pages, compiled by Bryan Keon-Cohen, is available on request. This index describes individual items in each numbered volume.

Conditions Governing Access

Access conditions may apply to this collection, please refer to the collection's catalogue record for further information (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn878792).

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Bryan Keon-Cohen, National Library of Australia, MS 9518, [series and volume/envelope number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the collection was donated to the National Library by Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC in 2000. Additional papers were donated by Greg McIntyre in 1996.

Arrangement

The majority of the papers were arranged by Bryan Keon-Cohen into volumes in broad chronological order. Papers of Greg McIntyre were incorporated into the arrangement by the Library (see Scope and Content note).

Papers of Eddie Koiki Mabo are held in the Manuscript Collection at MS 8822. The papers were acquired from Mabo's widow, Bonita, in 1995.

Historical Note

Eddie Koiki Mabo (1937-92) was born on Mer (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait. In 1982, he and four other Torres Strait Islanders began legal proceedings to establish their traditional ownership of their land. As he was the first named plaintiff in the action, it became known as the Mabo Case.

The Mabo litigation lasted ten years, from 1982 to 1992. In June 1992, six months after the death of Eddie Mabo, a landmark High Court ruling was declared. This gave legal recognition to the fact that indigenous land ownership existed before European settlement and that in some cases, this land tenure was not subsequently extinguished by the Crown. The ruling refuted the legal concept of terra nullius.

The five Murray Islander plaintiffs were: Eddie Koiki Mabo, Celuia Mapo Salee, James Rice, Sam Passi and his brother Father David Passi The lawyers who acted for the plaintiffs were Bryan Keon-Cohen, Ron Castan, Greg McIntyre and Barbara Hocking.

Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC is currently the Principal Legal Officer of the Mirimbiak Nations Aboriginal Corporation, Melbourne. He became a barrister of the Victorian Bar in September 1981. In January 1982 he was invited by Ron Castan, QC, to join the plaintiffs’ legal team in what was to become known as the Mabo Case. The team began by drafting a Statement of Claim issued in the High Court of Australia in May 1982.

Greg McIntyre, whose papers are incorporated into this collection, was initially a solicitor with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in Cairns. Following this, he was the instructing solicitor in the Koowarta Case. He became the instructing solicitor and occasional counsel in the Mabo cases throughout 1982-92.

Biographical Reference(s)

The encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia. Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press, 1994.

Keon-Cohen, Bryan. 'The Mabo litigation: a personal and procedural account', Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 24, No. 3, December 2000, pp. 892-951. Photocopy held in MS 9518, Envelope 25.

Keon-Cohen, Bryan. A Mabo Memoir: Islan Kustom to Native Title. Victoria : Zemvic Press, 2013. Available from the author at www.bryankeoncohen.com.

Sharp, Nonie. No ordinary judgment. Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press, 1996.

Mabo: life of an island man. Melbourne, Cinemedia (videorecording, Film Australia), 1997.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Numbered volumes (covered by index), 1981-2000 Show allonly 1

File Volume 1. Plaintiffs' statement of Facts Show allonly 1

File Volume 2. Annexure D. Murray Island Records - Land Cases Show allonly 1

File Volume 3. Annexure D. Murray Island records - Wills, Land Transactions, Miscellaneous Show allonly 1

File Volume 4. Plaintiffs' statements of Facts: Source Documents Show allonly 1

File Volume 5. Preliminary materials and early draft documents Show allonly 1

File Volume 6. Correspondence and memoranda between counsel and other interested parties, 1982-1991 Show allonly 1

File Volume 7. Killoran materials, 1982 Show allonly 1

File Volume 8. Greg McIntyre Affidavit and Exhibits, 1982 Show allonly 1

File Volume 9. Pleading and essential court documents, 1982-1987 Show allonly 1

File Volume 10. High Court Interlocutory Applications and Negotiations, 1982-1986 Show allonly 1

File Volume 11. Discovery, notices etc., 1985-1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 12. Plaintiffs' witness statements (A): drafts and research notes Show allonly 1

File Volume 13. Plaintiffs' witness statements (B): drafts and research notes. Witnesses not used, 1986-1990 Show allonly 1

Includes original hand-drawn maps and diagrams of various portions of land, boundary markers, etc. used in the Mabo case.

Item 1x. Collection of original hand-drawn maps/diagrams of various portions of land, boundary markers, etc. Show all (8) Show allonly 1
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Show all (8)

File Volume 14. Plaintiffs' witness statements (C): drafts and background papers, 1986-1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 15. Plaintiffs' witness statements (D): Kotaoji materials not handed up Show allonly 1

File Volume 16. Cases illustrating rules, Castan opening notes Show allonly 1

File Volume 17. E.K. Mabo evidence Show allonly 1

File Volume 18. (Formerly 8A) Trial of facts, Supreme Court of Queensland, 1986-1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 19. (Formerly 8B) Trial of facts, Supreme Court of Queensland, 1986-1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 20. (Formerly 8C) Trial of facts, Supreme Court of Queensland, 1986-1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 21. Demurrer applications, 1987-1988 Show allonly 1

File Volume 22. Demurrer book, 1988 Show allonly 1

File Volume 23. Demurrer TS, and plaintiffs' supporting documents Show allonly 1

File Volume 24. Documents prepared and/or tendered by plaintiffs for demurrer hearing Show allonly 1

File Volume 25. Demurrer: plaintiffs' research materials etc. Show allonly 1

File Volume 26. Pleadings and essential court documents, 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 27. Directions hearings, trial and application to Toohey, J. Transcript and documents, 1988-1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 28. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 29. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, May 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 30. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, June 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 31. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, June 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 32. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, June 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 33. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, July 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 34. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, July 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 35. Transcript, Supreme Court of Queensland, July-August 1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 36. Plaintiffs' final submissions, Supreme Court, Volume 1 Show allonly 1

File Volume 37. Queensland final submissions, Supreme Court, Volume 1 Show allonly 1

File Volume 38. Queensland final submissions, Supreme Court, Volume 2, 3 Show allonly 1

File Volume 39. Trial exhibits Nos 5-6 Show allonly 1

File Volume 40. Trial exhibits Nos 7-28 Show allonly 1

File Volume 41. Trial exhibit No.29 Show allonly 1

File Volume 42. Trial exhibit Nos 30-78 Show allonly 1

File Volume 43. Trial exhibit No. 79 (Index volume of 42 volumes of source documents) Show allonly 1

File Volume 44. Trial exhibits Nos 80-150 Show allonly 1

File Volume 45. Trial exhibits Nos 151-213 Show allonly 1

File Volume 46. Trial exhibits Nos 214-221 Show allonly 1

File Volume 47. Trial exhibits Nos 222, 233, 238-242, 244-252 Show allonly 1

File Volume 48. Trial exhibits Nos 234-237 Show allonly 1

File Volume 49. Trial exhibit No. 243 Show allonly 1

File Volume 50. Trial exhibits Nos 253-277 Show allonly 1

File Volume 51. Trial exhibits Nos 278-279 Show allonly 1

File Volume 52. Trial exhibit No. 279 Show allonly 1

File Volume 53. Trial exhibit No.279 Show allonly 1

File Volume 54. Trial exhibit No. 280 Show allonly 1

File Volume 55. Trial exhibits Nos 281-283 Show allonly 1

File Volume 56. Trial exhibit No. 284 Show allonly 1

File Volume 57. Trial exhibit No. 284 Show allonly 1

File Volume 58. Trial exhibit No. 284 Show allonly 1

File Volume 59. Trial exhibit No. 284 Show allonly 1

File Volume 60. Trial exhibit Nos 285-292 Show allonly 1

File Volume 61. Trial exhibits Nos 293-313 Show allonly 1

File Volume 62. Determination of Facts: Moynihan, J, Queensland Supreme Court, 16 November 1990 (three volumes) Show allonly 1

File Volume 63. Plaintiffs' written submissions to High Court, April 1991 (6 volumes) Show allonly 1

File Volume 64. Transcript High Court Hearing, 28-31 May 1991 Show allonly 1

File Volume 65. Correspondence, 1983-1989 Show allonly 1

File Envelope 1. Correspondence with defendants, 1983-1989 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 2. Correspondence with defendants, 1984-1987 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 3. Correspondence with defendants, 1988-1989 Show allonly 1

File Volume 66. Correspondence, 1983-1984 Show allonly 1

File Envelope 4. Correspondence with defendants, 1983-1984 Show allonly 1

Housed in 3 folders.

File Volume 67. Correspondence, 1983-1989 Show allonly 1

File Envelope 5. Correspondence with defendants, 1983-1989 Show allonly 1

Housed in 2 folders.

File Envelope 6A. Correspondence with town agents, all years Show allonly 1
File Envelope 6B. Correspondence with Counsel, 1983-1988 Show allonly 1

File Volume 68. Correspondence, miscellaneous, 1985-1991 Show allonly 1

File Envelope 7. Correspondence with Counsel, 1987-1989 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 8. Correspondence with defendants, 1989 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 9. Parliamentary questions, ALP lawyers and GDC, 1989 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 10. Correspondence, Legal Aid etc., 1988-1991 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 11. Correspondence, 1991 Show allonly 1

File Volume 69. Miscellaneous documents Show allonly 1

File Envelope 12. Miscellaneous documents, 1990-1992 Show allonly 1
File Envelopes 13A-13E. Miscellaneous documents, 1986-1992 Show allonly 1

Housed in 3 folders.

Comprises: Envelope 13A Post High Court appeal decision congratulations, 1992; Envelope 13B Miscellaneous documents, 1991; Envelope 13C Miscellaneous documents, 1990; Envelope 13D Miscellaneous documents, 1988; Envelope 13E Court documents, correspondence, 1986.

File Envelope 14. Correspondence, 1995 Show allonly 1

File Volume 70. Research materials Show allonly 1

File Envelope 15. Research Show allonly 1

Housed in 2 folders.

File Envelope 16. Research - James Cook University Show allonly 1

File Volume 71. Summary of court proceedings Show allonly 1

File Envelope 17. Summary of court proceedings by plaintiffs Show allonly 1

Housed in 2 folders.

File Volume 72. Correspondence and copy exhibits Show allonly 1

File Envelope 18A. Correspondence, 1985-1988 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 18B. Media Show allonly 1
File Envelope 18C. General correspondence, Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Attorney-General Show allonly 1
File Envelope 19. Correspondence, 1981-1983 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 20. Exhibits Show allonly 1

File Volume 73. Miscellaneous documents Show allonly 1

File Envelope 21. Research workers Show allonly 1

Housed in 2 folders.

File Envelope 22. Mabo research notes - Brear Show allonly 1
File Envelope 23. Correspondence - Yarra Bank Films, 1990 Show allonly 1
File Envelope 24. Correspondence, miscellaneous Show allonly 1

File Volume [unnumbered]. Additional material (not covered by index) Show allonly 1

File Envelope 25. Copy of article by Bryan Keon-Cohen, 2000 Show allonly 1

The article is entitled 'The Mabo Litigation; a personal and procedural account'. Published in the Melbourne University Law Review, Volume 24, no. 3, December 2000, pages 893-951. Also posted on the Melbourne University Law Review web page.

Series 2. Numbered volumes with P prefix (not covered by index) Show allonly 1

File Box 20. Volumes P1-P4 Show allonly 1

File Box 21. Volume P6-9, P13 - box 21 Show allonly 1

Series 3. Duplicates (not covered by index) Show allonly 1

File Box 22. Duplicates, 1982 - box 22 Show allonly 1

File Box 23. Duplicates, 1982-1987 - box 23 Show allonly 1

File Box 24. Duplicates, various dates, 1988-1989 - box 24 Show allonly 1

File Box 25. Duplicates, various dates, 1990-1994 - box 25 Show allonly 1

File Box 26. Copies of research material - box 26 Show allonly 1

Series 4. Assorted over-sized volumes (not covered by Index) Show allonly 1

File Volume 1. No title Show allonly 1

File Volume 2. No title Show allonly 1

File Volume 3. No title Show allonly 1

File Volume 6. Kindergarten purchase from Grobida Mabo, 1967 Show allonly 1

File Volume 7. Kindergarten purchase from Grobida Mabo, 1967 Show allonly 1

File Volume 8. Report of Torres Strait Islands Advisory Council, 1981 Show allonly 1

File Volume 9. No title Show allonly 1

File Volume M12. Research Show allonly 1

File Volume [unnumbered]. By-laws Show allonly 1

Container List

Series Volume Box/Folio
1 1 - 4 1
1 5 - 8 2
1 9 - 12 3
1 13 - 17 4
1 18 - 22 5
1 23 - 26 6
1 27 - 30 7
1 31 - 34 8
1 35 - 37 9
1 38 - 42 10
1 43 - 46 11
1 47 - 48 12
1 49 Folio Box 1
1 50 - 51 12
1 52 - 54 13
1 55 - 58 14
1 59 - 62 15
1 63 - 67 16
1 68 17
1 69 17 - 18
1 70 - 71 18
1 72 18 - 19
1 73 19
1 Envelope 25 19
2 P1 - P4 20
2 P6 - P9, P13 21
3 1,982 22
3 1982, 1984-1987 23
3 1988-1989, various 24
3 1990-1994 25
3 Research material 26
4 1 Folio Box 1
4 2 - 3, 6 Folio Box 2
4 7 - 8 Folio Box 3
4 9, M12, unnumbered vol. Folio Box 4