August 9, 2021, marks International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples as designated by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on February 17, 1995. The rights of indigenous people have evolved not only in domestic legislation but also in international law. In 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. New Zealand was one of four countries that originally voted against the declaration, but subsequently announced its support for it in 2010, and is in the process of developing an implementation plan. Although Sweden voted in favor of the declaration, it has been criticized by the UN for its failures to uphold the declaration in relation to the indigenous Sami population. Sweden is taking steps to review legislation affecting the Sami and to examine past wrongs in a truth commission.
In addition to governments developing legislation and policies that impact indigenous populations, the domestic courts of both countries have been centrally involved in defining and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples. For example, in 2020, the Swedish Supreme Court, in a ground-breaking decision, held that a Sami group had the exclusive right to confer fishing and hunting rights within their reindeer herding area based on the time immemorial use (urminneshävd). In New Zealand, recent matters before the courts have included the recognition of customary rights in the coastal marine area.
To learn more about the land and resource rights of indigenous people in New Zealand and Sweden, please join us for the Law Library’s upcoming webinar, “Indigenous Land and Resource Rights in New Zealand and Sweden,” at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 19, 2021. This webinar is the latest installment in the Law Library’s series of webinars focused on foreign and comparative law.
In this entry of the series, foreign law specialists Kelly Buchanan and Elin Hofverberg will discuss indigenous land and resource rights in New Zealand and Sweden. In particular, the webinar will discuss the historical context, legal status of the relevant groups, and the recognition and protection of land and resource rights of the Māori and Sami peoples. Information will be provided on relevant legislation and case law, including the role of customary and historic use of land and resources.
The webinar will be presented by foreign law specialists Kelly Buchanan and Elin Hofverberg. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a B.A. in social policy from Victoria University of Wellington. She is qualified to practice law in New Zealand. Elin holds a Master of Laws in international and comparative law from The George Washington University Law School and a Juris Doctor equivalent (Jur. kand.) from Uppsala University. She is a member of the New York State Bar and is also qualified to practice law in Sweden.
You can register for the webinar here.
We hope you can join us!