Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random News Generator- Cook Islands

You'd think the Cook Islands would be one of those places that gives me nothing and where I'd just rant about the RNG hating me.

The Independent, however, proves you wrong, as currently, there is a legal battle going on in the United Kingdom concerning ancestral land rights. Back in 1898, when the British were colonizing the islands, there was something of a power-sharing agreement going on in the local land rights court, with the British hoping to grab as much as they could from the "lazy" natives but fearful of what might happen if they actually tried to grab it outright. So when the British judge ordered the transfer in 1903 of one 53-acre plot to settlers, he included a clause reverting it back to the natives after the death of the settler.

Somewhere along the line, someone crossed out that clause.

It is now 2012, and the descendants of all involved are trying to sort out the mess created by that someone. As you might expect, the descendants of the natives are arguing for the version that enforces the crossed-out reversion clause, while the descendants of the settlers are arguing for the version where 'crossed out' means 'not in force'. The case in question technically involves only June Baudinet (on the side of the settlers) and Ellena Tavioni and the Macquarie family (on the side of the natives), but other similar claims around the island could be influenced by the precedent set here, so the rest of the island is watching with interest.

So no, the British Empire hasn't quite had the sun set on it yet.

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