Legal and Political Approaches to Indigenous Peoples' Rights - The Case of the Sami People

The development of indigenous peoples' rights illustrates the use of political solutions implying processes of defining principles and transformation of preferences; and conflict resolutions through court procedures.

On the one hand, courts can change practices and problematize former methods, understandings and previous uses of sources and evidence which can lead to court decisions which acknowledge indigenous peoples' rights like in the Norwegian Supreme Court cases of Selbu and Svartskogen. On the other hand, political solutions can be a driving force and can adjust for both new legal and political institutional arrangements, like in the case of the Finnmark Act. The topic on legal and political approaches understanding the development of indigenous rights will first be addressed. The second sequence will continue discussing conceptions of justice. The aim is to discuss how political philosophy and political theory are applied to analyze different moral and political arguments for indigenous rights. Issues for discussion is for instance different normative justifications of collective rights, normative approaches to property rights or question concerning jurisdiction and natural resources.  The third sequence has an empirical emphasis discussing how legal strategies and processes have contributed to an acknowledgement of Sami land rights. Whether this can be said to be a current legal development of Sami customary rights and use being incorporated into the legal system, is however an open question, which also will be addressed.

Course details

Academic level(s)PhD,Other
Language of instruction
InstitutionUiT The Arctic University of Norway
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline-
ECTS credits3.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studySociology and cultural studiesPolitical science and civics
Teaching placeTromsø
Tagsindigenouspoliticslawsamirightspeace and conflictindigenous peopletransformation
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