On the Legal Geography of Ethnocratic Settler States: Notes Towards a Research Agenda
Current Legal Issues, Vol. 5, pp. 401-441, 2003
20 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2006
The 'Courts of the Conquerors' manifest a complex position toward the dispossession of native land. The purpose of this article is to introduce several preliminary observations and tentative assumptions on the role of law and Supreme Courts in establishing and sustaining settler societies' geographies of power. This article is part of a work in progress that investigates the legal geography of ethnocratic settler societies. I hope in this article to illustrate the interest of studying land regimes of settler societies, and contribute to the development of a research agenda on the legal geography of ethnocratic settler states.
In order to do so, the article first introduces in a nutshell the concept of ethnocratic settler societies developed by political geographer Oren Yiftachel. Section II, then shortly outlines the recent emergence of an academic Legal Geography discipline. It also highlights the critical outlook characterizing many legal geographers, and notes the influence of Critical Legal Studies (CLS) on Critical Legal Geography (CLG). Section III draws upon insights from the Ethnocratic model as well as CLG and CLS to offer some preliminary assumptions on how law facilitates the creation and endurance of ethnocratic land regimes. Section IV illustrates my argument by focusing on the Israeli legal system during the formation of Israeli land regime. Section V is a short conclusion of the article.
Keywords: legal geography, land regimes, Israel, Palestine, Indigenous land,
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