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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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Professor Megan Davis

Professor Megan Davis

Megan Davis re-elected to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Professor Megan Davis, who was once a PhD scholar at the CIGJ and is now Director of the Indigenous Law Centre in the Faculty of Law at UNSW, has been re-elected by the UN Economic and Social Council to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The Forum is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health, and human rights. Professor Davis’ re-election received overwhelming support.

Professor Davis has extensive experience as an international lawyer at the United Nations and she participated in drafting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In her doctoral thesis and subsequent research, Professor Davis argues that the right to self-determination as it is recognised in international law does not pay adequate attention to the situation of Aboriginal women. She uses Martha Nussbaum’s theory of capabilities to reframe the concept of self-determination, focusing in particular on the significance of a constitutional guarantee of equality. In December last year, Professor Davis delivered Melbourne University’s NAARM  Oration. The text of her speech, ‘An Alternative Framework for Re-Imagining Self-Determination’ was published in full on the blog, ‘Sheilas’.

Regarding Rights and all at the CIGJ warmly congratulate Professor Davis on her re-election to UNPFII.