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Tradition versus power: When Indigenous customs and state laws conflict.

Short, Lindsay
June 4, 2015

Source: (2014) Chicago Journal of International Law. 15(1):376-408.

Indigenous societies have received increasing attention in recent years. Notably, scholars
and the international law community have gradually, but increasingly, recognired indgenous
groups’ autonomy in past decades. Against this backdrop, indigenous groups have largely
continued to maintain their own distinct customs and practices, including their own legal
systems. These groups, though, are also necessarily members of states with their own oficial
legal systems. And while the systems often coexist without issue, there are numerous instances of
indgenous legal systems directly conflicting with their official state counterparts’. This Comment
addresses these discrepancies. After noting the history of indigenous treatment in international
law and the system of legal pluralism, this Comment proposes a solution to inconsistent
indgenous and state legal systems. It argues that barring instances of widely recognized
international human rghts violations, indigenous groups should be free to develop and
implement their own individual legal systems. (author’s abstract)


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