LAWPUBL 446 - Indigenous Peoples in International Law

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Semester Two
Contact hours: Lectures - 3 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Tracey Whare
Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Global Environment and Sustainable Development or Global Politics and Human Rights, or LAW 211

Course description

An introduction to international law as it relates to Indigenous peoples, including the historic treatment of Indigenous peoples' rights, and the international legal framework in particular, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007.  The course will also consider how the UN and regional human rights bodies encourage and monitor the implementation of Indigenous peoples' rights.

Content outline

This course is for students who have an interest in international law as it relates to the rights of Indigenous peoples.  The first part of the course sets out the historical treatment of Indigenous peoples within international law, who Indigenous peoples are, the legal justifications for Indigenous peoples' rights, the international legal frameword and an overview of the UN, particularly those parts that address Indigenous peoples' rights.

The second part of the course will examine how the UN and regional human rights bodies encourage and monitor state compliance with Indigenous peoples' rights and the relevance of international law at the domestic level.

The third part of the course will consider some core rights issues, including Indigenous peoples' rights to their lands and states' duties to obtain Indigenous peoples' free, prior and informed consent to matters affecting them.


3000 word essay (40%)

Presentation (10%)

2 hour open book exam (50%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.