International and Comparative Indigenous Rights via Videoconferencing
Legal Education Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 238, 2009
21 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 14, 2010
The authors are a team of legal academics who deliver an internationally comparative Indigenous rights course to students in Canada, the United States, Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia simultaneously via videoconferencing technology. The international universities involved include: University of Ottawa, University of Saskatchewan, University of Oklahoma, University of Auckland, Monash University and the University of Queensland. Situated in six sites in different parts of the globe and in various time zones, teaching together demonstrates the commonality of Indigenous issues. The four countries involved in the course share a similar history of British colonisation and a similar legacy of English common law, yet each country has, in relation to its Indigenous peoples, developed differently from that same origin. The course not only explores similarities and differences in the experiences of the four jurisdictions, but also challenges both students and teachers to understand why those differences have occurred. This article introduces and reviews the experience of videoconference teaching in a comparative Indigenous law course. There are two significant aspects to this course on which this article will focus. The first is a review of the dynamics and logistics of teaching and delivering a course by way of videoconferencing to a number of global sites. The second is an analysis of the advantages of an internationally comparative Indigenous law course. The aim of the article is to enable other law teachers to consider the suitability of videoconferencing courses for international and comparative areas of study, and to learn from the authors’ experiences of the benefits and difficulties involved in this teaching mode.
Keywords: indigenous rights, international law, indigenous issues, law course, videoconference
JEL Classification: I2, I20, I21, I29, K10, K19, K33
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