Sovereign States and Self-Determining Peoples: Carving Out a Place for Transnational Indigenous Peoples in a World of Sovereign States

in International Community Law Review
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Even though self-determination of peoples has an esteemed place in international law, it seems fairly clear that peoples divided by international borders have difficulty in exercising their right to self-determination. It is thus interesting to examine whether general international law places constraints on trans-national peoples’ right to self-determination. Of particular interest in this article is to examine whether indigenous peoples divided by international borders have a right to self-determination, given the recent adoption of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The article will also take up cases where transnational indigenous peoples of Sami and Inuit have tried to exercise their joint self-determination and whether we can, in fact, argue that indigenous peoples divided by international borders have a right to exercise their united self-determination.

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