The Role of International Law in Determining Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Case Study of Abuja Nigeria and a Comparative Analysis with Kenya

Barnabas, Sylvanus (2017) The Role of International Law in Determining Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Case Study of Abuja Nigeria and a Comparative Analysis with Kenya. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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In 1976, the Nigerian Government compulsorily acquired the ancestral lands of Abuja peoples of Nigeria without payment of compensation or resettlement. This is legitimised under Nigerian State laws. Indigenous peoples (IPs) suffer from injustices in relation to land globally. The purpose of this thesis is to find answers to the research questions emanating from this case study. One avenue explored herein in addressing dispossession of IPs’ lands in Africa, is through considering the relevance of international law on their rights. However, there is no universally agreed definition of IPs. In the determination of whether international law provides solutions to the challenges of protecting land rights of Abuja peoples, the existing description of IPs is challenged.

The second avenue explored herein, is through a comparative approach to understanding how Kenya has resolved these challenges and how Nigeria should respond to similar challenges. The case study is used to illustrate the need for a viable relationship between State law, IPs’ customary law and international law. The choice of Nigeria is because the case study is in Nigeria. The choice of Kenya as a comparator is because like Nigeria, Kenya is Anglophone with a plural legal system and has recently embarked on law reforms in relation to customary land rights and the place of international law within its legal system.

Drawing from theories of legal pluralism and post-colonialism, this doctrinal, case study and comparative enquiry, makes the following original contributions to knowledge. Firstly, the case study is used to argue that international law should expand its description of IPs to include collective of peoples with different cultures. Secondly, it draws from international child rights law to advance the argument that international law on IPs should present them more positively. Finally, the comparative analysis between Nigeria and Kenya on the above subjects has not been made by any known literature at the time of writing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: human rights, vulnerable groups, Africa, equality and justice, self-determination
Subjects: M100 Law by area
M200 Law by Topic
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2017 14:37
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 22:53

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