Note that committees can record actual or potential violations.
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.ICCPR art 1
A court deciding competing native title claims by 2 First Nations for the same land arbitrarily refused to allow one party to table evidence and refused its request for adjournment. That party – the authors of this communication – was unrepresented, ineligible for legal aid, and misunderstood the law and facts of the proceedings. The court recognised the native title of the competing mob, extinguishing the authors’ rights to their Country, without any avenue for appeal. The authors, represented by an elder named Ailsa Roy, claim that losing their traditional lands means “the dissolution of their culture” and their destruction as a people.
The UN Human Rights Committee found violations of their rights to equality before the law and fair trial (art 14(1)); of their right to an effective remedy (art 2(3)) and of their cultural rights as a minority (art 27) read in the light of their right to self-determination (art 1) and of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Committee recommended, inter alia, a re-examination of the authors’ native title claim, ensuring their effective participation.
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