The limits of international law’s current dual approach to human rights and indigenous rights : a case for the separation of the two frameworks. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Laws
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Indigenous Peoples have suffered extreme loss in the face of the imperial mission of international law and colonisation. Indigenous Peoples have faced a direct assault on their sovereignty, language, culture, knowledge systems, lands, and resources. Imperial powers have used international law to justify the colonisation of Indigenous Peoples, and to exclude them from being subjects at international law. However, the Indigenous Rights movement of the 1970s is challenging the structure of international law. The gains of the Indigenous Rights movement have forced international law to recognise as legitimate the claims of Indigenous Peoples, thus, the Human Rights framework has evolved to address some of the claims of the Indigenous Rights movement. This challenge to international law has resulted in a dual approach to individual and collective rights within the Human Rights framework. However, there is an uneasiness with which Indigenous Rights claims sit within the Human Rights framework. This thesis argues the tensions between the Human Rights framework and the needs of Indigenous rights are fundamentally different and because of this, the Eurocentric nature of the Human Rights framework restricts the development of Indigenous Rights. Therefore, it is argued that Indigenous rights need to develop separated from the Human Rights framework.