The Doctrine of Terra Nullius and Unclaimed Land

TLDR The concept of Terra Nullius, which allowed for the claiming of uninhabited land, was later overturned in a court case recognizing aboriginal land claims in Australia. While some areas of land, such as Rockall and Marie Birdland in Antarctica, remain unclaimed, others like Bur Tawil and small parcels along the Croatia-Serbia border are disputed due to conflicting claims.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The doctrine of Terra Nullius explores the possibility of starting a brand new country on unclaimed land.
02:19 The legal concept of Terra Nullius, derived from the idea of resnullius, was used to justify claiming uninhabited land as one's own, but it was later overturned in a court case in 1992 that recognized aboriginal land claims in Australia.
04:09 Rockall, a small rock in the Atlantic Ocean, was claimed by the United Kingdom in 1955 and formally annexed in 1972, making it the last addition to the British Empire, despite being considered Terra Nullius, and while Antarctica is technically unclaimed, seven countries have made overlapping claims to parts of it, which are currently suspended under international law.
06:14 Marie Birdland in Antarctica is the largest unclaimed plot of land on Earth, and while the United States reserves the right to make future claims on the continent, it is likely that this would be their claim.
08:18 Bur Tawil, an unclaimed area between Sudan and Egypt, is not claimed by either country due to their conflicting claims on other territories, and it remains uninhabited and devoid of resources; similarly, there are small parcels of land along the border between Croatia and Serbia that are disputed due to differing interpretations of the border.
10:23 North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal, is not claimed by any country because it is occupied by the indigenous people known as the Sentinel Ease, who have no contact with the outside world and have been hostile towards outsiders.
12:24 North Sentinel Island is not claimed by any country, but is considered a protectorate by India, and the people who live there are independent and not part of the international system.
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