Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Creativity Calls: Designing a Monitoring Body for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

World Conference on Indigenous Peoples' Opening Plenary Meeting and adoption of the Conference Outcome Document, 22 September 2014, New York.  Photo: Shane Brown, Indigenous Global Coordinating Group Media Team

World Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ Opening Plenary Meeting and adoption of the Conference Outcome Document, 22 September 2014, New York.
Photo: Shane Brown, Indigenous Global Coordinating Group Media Team

By Fleur Adcock

National Centre for Indigenous Studies

Calls for an international mechanism to monitor implementation of the 2007 United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) are growing louder. The Declaration is the most comprehensive articulation of the contours of Indigenous peoples’ rights. The product of more than two decades of intensive negotiations and lobbying by Indigenous peoples and their supporters, it affirms Indigenous peoples’ rights to internal self-determination, their lands and resources, culture, equality and development, amongst others. As a non-budgetary resolution of the UN General Assembly the Declaration is not strictly binding in the way that a UN treaty is. Yet, aspects of the Declaration form part of customary international law. Since the Declaration’s adoption, the idea of a monitoring mechanism has been raised both informally and formally. But in the past year the idea has gained momentum. Continue Reading →


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‘Relationship Matters’: Constitutional Protection of Indigenous Rights in Aotearoa New Zealand

By Fleur Adcock

Image from Fightback
http://tinyurl.com/ltd3zeu

Aotearoa New Zealand has recently begun a national dialogue regarding the place of Maori – its first peoples – in the country’s constitution. In February this year a Government-appointed Constitutional Advisory Panel kicked off the public consultation phase of its consideration of an array of questions concerning New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements. Topics for discussion include ‘Crown-Maori relationship matters’,[1] namely the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand’s constitution. The Treaty, signed between representatives of Maori and the Crown in 1840, exchanged British governance for the protection of Maori rangatiratanga (self-determination). It remains the pivotal instrument around which Maori concerns regarding their rights as Indigenous peoples foment. The review also includes consideration of Maori political representation, such as the Maori electoral option that allows Maori to choose to enrol on a separate Maori electoral roll; Maori electoral participation; and New Zealand’s dedicated seats for Maori in Parliament (voted for by those on the Maori electoral roll) and on some local government bodies. Continue Reading →


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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Laws and Societies in Global Contexts

Laws and Societies in Global Contexts

 Laws and Societies in Global Contexts – new book by Eve Darian-Smith

CIGJ congratulates Eve Darian-Smith on the recent publication of her book, Laws and Societies in Global Contexts: Contemporary Approaches (CUP). Eve is Professor in Global & International Studies at the University of California and an Adjunct Professor at RegNet, where she is a regular visitor. Eve’s text challenges the tendency in law and society scholarship to focus on single legal systems and societies. In Eve’s account, this focus ‘perpetuates a Western international relations model that too often conflates law, culture, and the nation-state’.

Centre Visitors: Christoph Sperfeldt & Jonathan Kolieb

Christoph Sperfeldt, who is a familiar face at RegNet, returned this week as a guest of the Centre. Christoph is the Regional Program Coordinator at the Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI), where he focuses on regional human rights and justice sector capacity-building in Southeast Asia. Prior to joining AIJI, Christoph worked in Cambodia with the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, and as Reparations Advisor to the Victims Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). His experience in Cambodia forms the subject matter of a RegNet seminar Christoph will present on Tuesday 28th of May – on victim participation and collective reparations at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Christoph’s other research interests include statelessness and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council.

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