Abstract

https://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 Cambridge

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


Open PDF in Browser 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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2297188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2297188

Contact Information

Edward Cavanagh (Contact Author)
University of Cambridge ( email )
Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 409
Downloads: 56
Download Rank: 296,462