Indigenous Peoples' Status in the International Legal System

ISBN : 9780198778196

Mattias Ahren
288 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Mar 2016
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While many have explored the law governing the rights of indigenous peoples through an examination of relevant instruments and institutions, this book demonstrates that international indigenous rights can be best understood through the study of two questions: What is meant by 'peoples' and 'equality' under international law? Indigenous Peoples' Status in the International Legal System offers a new and profound insight into the international indigenous rights discourse. This volume explains that the understanding of 'peoples' is paramount to the question of whether indigenous peoples are beneficiaries of the right to self-determination and sets out the content and scope of this right. The book additionally explores the contemporary meaning of 'equality', arguing that the understanding of equality fundamentally impacts what rights indigenous peoples possess over territories and natural resources. This book outlines the rights of greatest relevance to indigenous peoples, communities, and individuals, and explains the justification for indigenous rights.


1 Introduction

2 Classical International Law and Early Philosophy Theory on Peoples' Rights
3 Political Theory that Underpins the Law
4 International Law on International Legal Sources

5 Indigenous Peoples' Legal Status Under Contemporary International Law
6 The Content and Scope of the Right to Self-determination when Applied to Indigenous Peoples

7 The Right to Equality
8 Indigenous Communities' Property Rights over Lands and Natural Resources Traditionally Used
9 The More Precise Content and Scope of Indigenous Communities' Property Rights over Lands and Natural Resources Traditionally Used
10 Conclusion


About the author: 

Mattias Ahren is an Associate Professor at The Arctic University of Norway (Tromso). He heads the Sami and Indigenous Rights Group, and has written extensively on indigenous peoples' rights under international law as well as on the indigenous Sami people's rights under domestic law. He has substantial experience practicing indigenous peoples' rights, predominantly within the UN system; Ahren was involved in the negotiations that led to the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He was also a member of the Expert Group that produced the draft Nordic Sami Convention, and has participated in the negotiations on various instruments being deliberated under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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