The land rights of indigenous and traditional peoples in Brazil and Australia



Publication Details

M. Dieguez. Leuzinger & K. Lingard, 'The land rights of indigenous and traditional peoples in Brazil and Australia' (2016) 13 (1) Brazilian Journal of International Law 418-437.


The global community accepts that the conservation of biological diversity depends upon the oral knowledge developed by traditional communities over generations ("traditional knowledge'). The maintenance of this knowledge depends upon traditional people's capacity to carry out cultural practices on traditional lands. Brazil and Australia use different legal mechanisms to facilitate this goal. This article examines those mechanisms to identify how each may learn, adapt and improve from the other. Key findings include the potential to strengthen land rights in Australia through the constitutional recognition of existing statutory and common law regimes, and the capacity to halt the forced relocation of some traditional peoples in Brazil through the use of joint management arrangements on conservation lands. The collection of findings suggest that Brazil and Australia have much to contribute in the development of an adaptable land rights model that advances both cultural and biodiversity objectives.

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