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Author: Timo Koivurova

Abstract

The article examines the rationale underlying the Draft Nordic Saami Convention submitted by an expert committee to the Nordic governments and the Saami Parliaments in October 2005. The Draft Convention represents an innovative possibility to grow beyond the state-centred paradigm in international relations in a realistic way and thus deserves to be studied even before negotiations on the Convention proper commence. The particular focus of the article is on how the Draft tries to ensure a position that is as equitable as possible for the Saami in relation to the Nordic states.

In: International Community Law Review
Author: Timo Koivurova

Abstract

The article examines how the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has dealt with the concept of peoples and peoples' rights in its jurisprudence. Most prominent has been the Court's role with respect to the right of self-determination and it is this issue that forms the core of the article. A second important question dealt with is the role of indigenous peoples in ICJ case practice, as the struggle by those peoples to gain collective rights is a recent development in international law. Drawing on this analysis, the discussion proceeds to consider the role that the ICJ has played in the development of the rights of peoples in general and what its future role might be in this sphere of international law. The article also examines the way in which the Court has allowed peoples to participate in its proceedings and whether and how its treatment of peoples' rights has strengthened the general foundations of international law.

In: International Community Law Review
Author: Timo Koivurova

Abstract

Probably because there have been no landmark cases decided by the European Court of Human Rights (and the Commission) in favour of indigenous peoples, there has correspondingly been scant interest in studying the problems and possibilities of using the Court as an avenue to promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. is is clearly unjustifi ed, given that the Court has jurisdiction over so many indigenous peoples and is in a strong position to protect their rights. e article will examine the relevant legal disputes that have come before the Court (and the Commission), which have arisen primarily when northern indigenous peoples have confronted the intrusion of dominant societies and modern economic activities into their traditional territories and hamper the practice of indigenous traditional livelihoods – livelihoods that stand at the core of their culture. e article examines how the European Commission's and the Court's jurisprudence have evolved over the years in respect of indigenous peoples and try to explain why the Court has clearly faced some problems in responding to the concerns of indigenous peoples and whether the Court is better equipped in the future to deal with the evolving rights of indigenous peoples.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Timo Koivurova

Abstract

This article will examine three international processes wherein the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples has been taken up: the process whereby the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration), the intention to negotiate a Nordic Saami Convention (Draft Convention) and the practice of the Human Rights Committee (HRC) in monitoring the observance of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Covenant). All of these processes have enunciated indigenous peoples' right to self-determination, but any claim to such a right has met with resistance from the states, with the reasons for such resistance examined here. The aim is to study why it is so difficult to insert indigenous peoples into international law as category and, in particular, to have states accept their right to self-determination. In the conclusions, it is useful to ask whether the problems experienced in promoting the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples are mere setbacks or whether they contain elements that might inform the international movement of indigenous peoples more generally.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Timo Koivurova

Abstract

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.

In: International Community Law Review
Author: Timo Koivurova

Abstract

This book review essay will employ David Lea's interesting ideas over how indigenous and traditional societies should relate themselves to economic globalisation for self-reflection regarding how we international legal scholars in general approach indigenous issues. Moreover, because Lea also outlines his views on how indigenous and traditional societies should improve their situation, it gives a good basis to think of an alternative model from the international legal viewpoint on how indigenous governance could be improved.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Author: Timo Koivurova

Abstract

The article will provide a study of the continental shelf submissions that have been made in the polar regions and an evaluation as to whether these pose a challenge to the two polar regimes: the Arctic Council and the Antarctic Treaty System. This will be done by comparing these regimes, examining the development of the law of the sea as regards seabed rights and studying what sort of challenge the polar regimes face from the continental shelf activity in both polar regions and how serious that challenge is. Conclusions are finally drawn as to what types of effects may ensue for the polar regimes from the continental shelf submissions by various states.

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online