LAWPUBL 458 - Comparative Indigenous Law Topics

Credit points: 10 points
Offered: Semester One
Contact hours: 2 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Dr Claire Charters
Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Global Environment and Sustainable Development or Global Politics and Human Rights, or LAW 211

Course description

Study of law and legal issues affecting indigenous peoples in various jurisdictions.

Content outline

This course will introduce students to indigenous peoples’ rights primarily in New Zealand, the United States, Canada and, to a lesser extent, Australia. It will focus on topics such as:

  • The colonial acquisition of sovereignty over indigenous peoples;
  • Indigenous peoples’ self-government;   
  • The relationship between indigenous women’s rights and indigenous customary law;
  • Whether indigenous peoples are racial groupings;    
  • The legal status of treaties between indigenous peoples and states;  
  • Aboriginal rights; and  
  • International law on indigenous peoples’ rights.


2000 word essay (40%)

3000 word take home exam (60%)

Prescribed text