The Right of Indigenous Peoples to Their Own Law

39 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016

See all articles by Dawid Bunikowski

Dawid Bunikowski

Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, Department of Philosophy; University of the Arctic; Cardiff University, Centre for Law and Religion; University of Eastern Finland, Law School

Date Written: August 31, 2015

Abstract

The reader will become acquainted with the philosophical justification of the right of indigenous peoples to their own law. This contribution is philosophical-legal. It is not about human rights or international public law. I examine the theory of legal pluralism and practical issues relating to legal pluralism in light of the experiences of the Sami people in Scandinavia and Finland. I also look at the problems regarding ethos as a basis of every law and society, and support my arguments on this issue by reference to sociological, anthropological and cultural-ecological approaches and considerations. Finally, I would argue that a better way forward than is currently being pursued would be to recognise the validity of the idea of legal pluralism and indigenous customary law and to accept that it is more responsible to give indigenous peoples the chance to rule and govern on their own, on behalf of their own communities, on the basis of their own laws and for their own sake. The issue at stake is that of wider political autonomy or even independence: the independence of states understood not in terms of public international law but real independence in small communities of people.

Keywords: Indigenous Peoples; Sami; Own Law; Legal Pluralism; North

Suggested Citation

Bunikowski, Dawid, The Right of Indigenous Peoples to Their Own Law (August 31, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2725398 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2725398

Dawid Bunikowski (Contact Author)

Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, Department of Philosophy ( email )

127 Haddon Pl.
Montclair, NJ 07043-2314
United States

University of the Arctic ( email )

Rovaniemi, Lapland
Finland

Cardiff University, Centre for Law and Religion ( email )

PO Box 427
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3AX
United Kingdom

University of Eastern Finland, Law School ( email )

PO Box 111
Joensuu, 80100
Finland

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