Litigating the Rights of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in Domestic and International Courts


This book focuses on trend-setting judgments in different parts of the world that impacted on the rights of persons belonging to minorities and Indigenous people. The cases illustrate how the judiciary has been called upon to fill out the detail of minority protection arrangements and how, in doing so, in many instances the judiciary has taken the respective countries on a course that parliament may not have been able to navigate. In this book authors from various backgrounds in the practical application of minority protection arrangements investigate the role of the judiciary in constitutional arrangements aimed at the protection of the rights of minorities and Indigenous peoples.
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Bertus de Villiers is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Law School of the University of Johannesburg. He is admitted as a legal practitioner in South Africa and Australia. He is a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung.

Joseph Marko is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Public Law and Political Sciences at the University of Graz. He served as director of the Institute for Minority Rights of Eurac Research (1998 – 2020). His scholarly research is focussed mainly on minority rights and diversity governance.

Francesco Palermo is Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Verona and Director of the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research. He has worked extensively on minority rights in different international capacities.

Sergiu Constantin is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Minority Rights of Eurac Research. His research activities focus mainly on language rights and political participation of national minorities, and on territorial/cultural autonomy arrangements.
Case Law

1 Introduction
  Bertus de Villiers

2 The Mabo-Decision and the “Discovery” of Native Title in Australia and Beyond
  George Barrie

3 The Elephant in the Room – Resolving Disputes about Membership of a Minority or Indigenous Community
  Bertus de Villiers

4 Key Judgments on the Accommodation of Muslim Family Law in South Africa
  Christa Rautenbach

5 The Role of the Constitutional Court in Protecting Minority Rights: A Case on Traditional Beliefs in Indonesia
  Saldi Isra and Pan Mohamad Faiz

6 Land, Consultation and Participation Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: The Cases of Kichwa Indigenous People of Sarayaku v. Ecuador and Kaliña and Lokono Peoples v. Suriname
  Alexandra Tomaselli and Federica Cittadino

7 Litigating Linguistic Rights of National Minorities in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe
  Francesco Palermo and Sergiu Constantin

8 International Treaty-based Protection of Minorities: Select Cases of the UN Human Rights Committee
  Hennie Strydom

9 Comparing Jurisprudence from Five Continents: Concluding Observations in Search for Meaning through Intercultural Understanding
  Joseph Marko


All interested in the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, political science, constitutional law and international law, especially scholars, researchers, graduate students and practitioners.
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