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

This course will introduce students to international law, especially human rights law, relevant to Indigenous peoples.

Content outline

The course begins with consideration of who Indigenous peoples are, the international legal framework (in particular the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007), and the justifications for Indigenous peoples’ rights.

We will then explore the international bodies relevant to Indigenous peoples, what they have said about the Indigenous rights situation in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, and their impact.

In the final part of the course we will examine 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.


Group presentation (20%)

1500 word reflective essay (20%)

2 hour open book exam (60%)

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.

Recommended text

A coursebook will be available at the start of the course and will be your day-to-day resource for classes.

S James Anaya Indigenous Peoples in International Law (2ed, Oxford University Press, 2004) is a recommended text.