Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2297188
 


 



Land Rights that Come with Cut-Off Dates: A Comparative Reflection on Restitution, Aboriginal Title, and Historical Injustice


Edward Cavanagh


University of Ottawa; University of the Witwatersrand

July 23, 2013


Abstract:     
The doctrine of aboriginal title allows for a distinct form of redress, empowering communities to use the judiciary to take action against the state for foundational acts of historical dispossession. It has not taken root in South Africa, yet in other former settler colonies of the british Empire, it remains important to this day. This article interrogates history and law to explain why this is the case. Such an approach allows for a critical reflection on the system of land restitution that developed in South Africa instead of aboriginal title. by exploring the past and present realities of ‘dispossession’ in South Africa, this article discredits the inclusion of cut-off dates in the Restitution of Land Rights Act. These dates have discriminated between claimant communities irrationally and insensitively – even racially. History should not be mobilised in statute law to obstruct the pathway to redress. It should, instead, be used positively to restore the rights of those formerly dispossessed, and to preserve the rights of those facing dispossessions pending, in South Africa.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: aboriginal title, land restitution, common law, history, settler colonialism

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: July 23, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Cavanagh, Edward, Land Rights that Come with Cut-Off Dates: A Comparative Reflection on Restitution, Aboriginal Title, and Historical Injustice (July 23, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2297188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2297188

Contact Information

Edward Cavanagh (Contact Author)
University of Ottawa ( email )
2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada
University of the Witwatersrand ( email )
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2050
South Africa
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 183
Downloads: 29

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.281 seconds