Book Launch: Paved with Good Intentions: Terra Nullius, Aboriginal Land Rights and Settler-Colonial Law

On 23 November 2016, La Trobe Law School would like to invite you to the launch of Hannah Robert’s new book called Paved with Good Intentions: Terra Nullius, Aboriginal Land Rights and Settler-Colonial Law.


Over a century before Mabo and generations before ‘Terra Nullius’, Aboriginal land rights were briefly acknowledged, sparked by the anti-slavery and humanitarian movements.

In the push to colonise South Australia and Port Phillip, well intentioned people voiced humanitarian concerns about Aboriginal dispossession – both in London and closer to the frontier.  Yet those good intentions paved the way not for recognition and respect, but for a settler-colonial legal system which denied Indigenous sovereignty, land title and even legal subjecthood for many decades.

In this book, Hannah Robert prises apart a key moment in Australia’s legal history and reveals the machinations of colony and empire amid the turbulent confluence of ideas about “civilization”, “property” and “the noble savage”.

About the Author

Hannah Roberts La Trobe Law SchoolHannah Robert is a lecturer at La Trobe Law School.  Prior to joining La Trobe, Hannah taught in the History Department at the University of Melbourne, in the Law School at the University of Newcastle, and worked in litigation and dispute resolution in two commercial law firms in Sydney.

Hannah researches and writes about legal parentage, law and pregnancy, family law, feminism and colonial legal history.  Her writing has appeared in The Conversation, the Journal of Law and Medicine, the Australian Feminist Law Journal, the Good Weekend, Australian Feminist Studies and edited collections.


Date: Wednesday 23 November 2016

Time: 6.30pm – 8pm

Venue: Readings Carlton, 309 Lygon Street, Carlton, VIC 3053

Cost: Free

Register: Please register via Eventbrite.

La Trobe