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As the scope and visibility of international law continue to expand, discussions about its nature and function in the global system become increasingly important. A particularly pressing question for international lawyers concerns the relationship between international law and justice: can international law be an effective instrument for the promotion of justice or does its very nature prevent it from playing any significant role in shaping a better world?
Against this background, this book seeks to critically examine the struggle of indigenous peoples for justice in international law, paying special attention to the content, nature and implications of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. One fundamental question that the book seeks to answer is whether international law has been able to respond fairly and adequately to the demands of indigenous peoples, taking into account their values, concerns and aspirations. At another level, the book seeks to explore the relationship between the response provided by international law and some distinctive features of the human rights claims of indigenous peoples, reflecting on the extent to which the latter have influenced and shaped the former. The above analyses will, in turn, contribute to answer a more general question concerning the emancipatory and transformative force of international law in the contemporary world.
The book draws important conclusions as to the reasons and dynamics behind international law’s positive recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights, providing key insights into the potential and limits of international law to provide valid responses to various groups’ demands for justice.
The book will be of great interest to students and scholars of public international law, human rights and social movements.