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A Colonial History of the River Murray Dispute

36 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2017  

Adam Webster

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This article examines the history of the dispute over the sharing of the waters of the River Murray between the colonies, with particular emphasis on the period from the mid-1880s to the mid-1890s. The article shows that the change in water use by the colonies during this period had a significant impact on the question of how the water should be shared between the colonies. The article examines the early legal arguments regarding the ‘rights’ of the colonies to the waters of the River Murray and argues that these early legal analyses influenced the drafting of the Australian Constitution, which in turn has influenced the way similar disputes between the states are resolved today.

Keywords: River Murray, Murray River, legal history, rivers, water, water law

Suggested Citation

Webster, Adam, A Colonial History of the River Murray Dispute (2017). Adelaide Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3067258

Adam Webster (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

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