Wydział Prawa i Administracji Uniwersytet Warszawski

Seminar devoted to indigenous peoples



The seminar will focus upon various issues connected to contemporary situation of indigenous peoples around the globe. In particular, the following topics would be analysed:

  • Ontological status of indigenous peoples; concept of indigeneity and non-indigenous other
  • Rights of indigenous peoples; indigenous peoples and self-determination; rights of other minorities
  • Legal pluralism and interrelationship of rights: group rights and individual rights; right to existence, identity and non-discrimination; right to isolation; right to agency, territory (land, water, environment), health and preservation of culture
  • Political responses to indigenous rights – violence (human violence, seizure of land, deforestation, pollution, development-induced displacement) and possible solutions (negotiations based upon free prior informed consent, internal public regulations, cooperative federalism, class actions and judicial proceedings)
  • Catholic social teaching on indigenous peoples (encyclical Populorum Progressio, exhortation Querida Amazonia)
  • Situation of the particular indigenous people within their original environment
  • Cultural component of indigenous rights – structural dominance model, development based on business (corporations) interests, globalization as a new form of colonialism.

The keynote speaker during the seminar is Steven Cooper, Canadian lawyer practicing Aboriginal law, corporate and commercial litigation, administrative and tribunal law, employment law.  In 2010, he was appointed Chair of the Indigenous Rights Committee of the International Bar Association. Mr. Cooper has argued before the NWT Workers Compensation Board for compensation for hunters and trappers resulting in policy changes allowing for full coverage for injured parties. He has argued before all courts in Alberta, the NWT, and the Nunavut Court of Justice. As counsel for the Alberta College of Paramedics, he has prosecuted disciplinary complaints against members and written for the association’s professional journal. He is also a member of the Baxter National Class Action consortium negotiation committee that helped negotiate the $5 billion national Residential School settlement.

Scholars of various disciplines (law, philosophy, sociology, history, anthropology, theology, cultural or political sciences) and practitioners (legal representatives, human rights experts, NGOs activists, political advisors) interested to participate in the seminar are invited to submit abstracts (max. 500 words) until the 1st August 2020 to the following mail address: dziekan1@wpia.uw.edu.pl

Decisions about prospective acceptance would be delivered until 7th August 2020. Participants of the seminar would be invited to publish their papers in the journal of the Law Faculty: “Studia Iuridica”.

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