Indigenous Self-Determination: The Root of State Resistance

Graham Melling, Sarah Sargent

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States have long expressed some resistance towards granting the right of self-determination to identifiable groups of people within their boundaries. This includes the granting of the right to minorities and to indigenous groups. One of the ways in which this reluctance reveals itself is in States‟ resistance to the granting of recognition of “peoples” to certain groups. States, it would seem, draw the erroneous conclusion that recognition of groups as “peoples” under international law will inexorably lead to such “peoples” asserting a right to self-determination and with that an unfettered ability to secede from the state. However states‟ fear of indigenous secession has no realistic basis. Yet states continually resist the idea of indigenous self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-137
Number of pages20
JournalDenning Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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