RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

Your Guide to Clear and Concise Legal Definitions

Legal Dictionary

Terra nullius

“Terra nullius” is a phrase in Latin that means “nobody’s land” or “empty land.” It has been used throughout history to refer to territory that is not under the control of any state or nation and is therefore seen as unclaimed or uninhabited. This concept has been utilized in various contexts, especially during periods of colonial expansion, to legitimize the occupation and exploitation of land inhabited by indigenous peoples. However, the doctrine of terra nullius has been criticized for its role in justifying the dispossession and marginalization of indigenous communities. In recent times, there has been an increased recognition of indigenous land rights and efforts to rectify historical injustices associated with the doctrine of terra nullius.

Articles & News for Law Professionals

Go to Top