Resolving Indigenous Claims to Self-Determination

37 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2007

See all articles by Lorie Graham

Lorie Graham

Suffolk University Law School


The right of self-determination is vitally important to indigenous peoples. Self-determination is closely linked to cultural survival, economic development, and the realization of other basic human rights. This right has gradually achieved firm recognition in international law. At present, however, there is no forum or process available for resolving indigenous claims to self-determination. Indeed, none of the United Nation instruments that reference the right to self-determination, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, offer specific relief for violations of this right. Moreover, there are no definitive definitions regarding the contours of this right that could help guide the resolution of such claims. Thus, the focus of this paper is twofold: to analyze some of the more difficult issues that a dispute resolution mechanism might face in addressing indigenous claims to self-determination and to articulate an optimal process or forum for resolving such claims.

Suggested Citation

Graham, Lorie, Resolving Indigenous Claims to Self-Determination. ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 10, p. 385, 2004, Available at SSRN:

Lorie Graham (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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