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The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary
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The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary (Hardback)

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The rights of indigenous peoples under international law have seen significant change in recent years, as various international bodies have attempted to address the question of how best to protect and enforce their rights. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the strongest statement thus far by the international community on this issue. The Declaration was adopted by the United Nations on 13 September 2007, and sets out the individual

and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education, and other issues. While it is not a legally binding instrument under international law, it represents the development of international legal norms designed to eliminate

human rights violations against indigenous peoples, and to help them in combating discrimination and marginalisation.

This comprehensive commentary on the Declaration analyses in detail both the substantive content of the Declaration and the position of the Declaration within existing international law. It considers the background to the text of every Article of the Declaration, including the travaux preparatoire, the relevant drafting history, and the context in which the provision came to be included in the Declaration. It sets out each provision's content, interpretation, its relationship with

other principles of international law, and its legal status. It also discusses the significance and outlook for each of the rights analysed. The book assesses the practice of relevant regional and international bodies in enforcing the rights of indigenous peoples, providing an understanding of the practical

application of the Declaration's principles. It is an indispensible resource for scholars, students, international organisations, and NGOs working on the rights of indigenous peoples

Dr.Jessie Hohmann took up a lectureship with Queen Mary in September 2012, after completing a British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. Dr Hohmann has broad research interests in the fields of human rights, international law, indigenous rights, theories of human rights and international law (particularly critical theories), and the role of human rights in social struggles. Marc Weller is Professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. From 2000 to 2009, he was Director of the European Centre for Minority Issues. He has authored, edited, or co-edited twenty books, including Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law (OUP, 2010) and Political Participation of Minorities (OUP, 2010).

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Customer Reviews

AUTHORITATIVE AND TIMELY COMMENTARY ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister” Most international lawyers, especially those dealing with human rights issues will be aware of UNDRIP – The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Following what you might call a consultation period of at least a quarter of a century, the Declaration was finally adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007. The vote was decisive – 144 countries in favour –yet the Declaration with its forty-six articles engendered a fair amount of controversy and mixed reactions ranging from euphoria to bemusement, to disquiet, depression and dismay. To ferret out the details, you couldn’t do better than reading through this book. Published recently by the Oxford University Press as part of their ‘Oxford Commentaries on International Law’ series, this new title brings together -- in one convenient volume -- a range of informed commentary and in-depth analysis from some two-dozen expert contributors on the Declaration and its wider implications -- including more than a few consequences, some unintended. Certainly, a large sampling is revealed of the wide variety of comments, criticisms and controversies that have emerged since the Declaration was adopted. A key problem is the fact that the Declaration does not define ‘indigenous peoples’, possibly since the term seems to defy definition. Inevitably there’s a problem here in implementing and enforcing the obligations of states which require recognition of peoples as ‘indigenous’. It is pointed out nonetheless that Articles 9 and 33 of the Declaration suggest that self-identification is the main criterion for determining ‘indigeneity’ – a term which is customarily capitalized in case you’re wondering. Also notable is Article 33 which asserts the right of indigenous peoples to determine their own membership. Then there is Article 36 which stresses the right of indigenous communities divided by international borders to cross such borders at will in order to maintain cross-border relationships ‘including activities for spiritual, cultural political, economic and social purposes with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.’ Not surprisingly, considerable argument remains as to whether these, as well as several other measures in the Declaration are at all feasible or practical to implement, which for the most part they aren’t -- even if this UN Declaration was binding -- which it isn’t. It is not unfair to say though, that the Declaration does provide valuable guidance in these diverse and complex matters, its overall aim being to right many of the wrongs suffered by indigenous peoples. Editors Jessie Hohmann and Marc Weller have presided over an important book which will make a significant contribution to the debate on what is fundamentally an important human rights issue. Also note that this very readable and carefully structured work of reference contains ample research resources as well as extensive tables of cases and legislation. The date of publication is cited as at 22nd May 2018.

- 17/09/2018
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