This article critically discusses two judgments, recently delivered by the Israeli Supreme Court, which concern Bedouin land rights in the Negev (Al-Naqab), southern Israel. It is submitted that the narrow approach taken by the Court ignores the Bedouin traditional lifestyle and land tenure systems, thus preventing members of this indigenous and minority group from fully enjoying their human rights, and exposing them to further displacement and dispossession by Israeli authorities. The article also explains the relevance of these decisions to the Bedouin living in Area C of the West Bank which is occupied by Israel.
As in many countries in Asia, the concept “indigenous” is a highly contested term in Indonesia. The government is of the opinion that Indonesia is a nation that has no indigenous peoples, or that all Indonesians are equally indigenous. The article aims to analyse the role and the paradox of using ethnic narratives, i.e. distinct social, economic or political systems, as well as language, culture and beliefs as their material and political basis, in the articulation of indigenous rights. Upon discussing a case study from Papua, Indonesia, it is observed that the use of ethnic narratives does create opportunity structures necessary for the struggles of indigenous rights. However, the salience of these endeavours is shaped by how these groups, their autonomy and marginalisation are positioned in the wider context of development, sovereignty and territoriality, which make them also dependent on the design and orientation of the state.
The need for protecting indigenous peoples’ lands as human rights in domestic legislation dealing with climate change response measures, that is, initiatives meant to address adverse effects of climate change, has been emphasised in a range of resolutions and decisions made under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council (unhrc) and the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (unfccc). Where domestic legislation on climate change response measures fails to protect adequately indigenous peoples’ lands, what potentials exist within the African human rights system? Using Nigeria, Zambia and Tanzania as illustration, this article demonstrates how key legislation dealing with climate change response measures fails to protect indigenous peoples’ lands in Africa. It then explores potentials within the African regional human rights system for addressing the inadequate gap existing within domestic legislation on the protection of indigenous peoples’ lands in the context of climate change response measures in Africa.
Many states offer constitutional protection to the traditional lands of indigenous peoples. International treaties protecting ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples also require protection of the rights of indigenous communities with respect to traditional territories. States have followed different routes in identifying the ownership and resource rights of indigenous communities. In Norway, the Courts have traditionally applied the rules on prescription and immemorial usage, developed through centuries in the farming societies of Scandinavia. The legislature has chosen to follow the same approach in the Finnmark area of Norway under the terms of the Finnmark Act (2005). By contrast, in Canada, a settled colony with an English common law tradition, the Courts have developed a sui generis approach to the recognition of Aboriginal title. This article examines the rules for identifying and legally recognising the traditional lands of indigenous people in Norway and Canada with a view to reflecting on similarities and differences.