Friday, May 27, 2005

When Your Laws Aren't My Laws

The University of New Mexico School of Law recently released its most recent volume of its Tribal Law Journal. "The purpose of the Tribal Law Journal is to promote indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world’s indigenous nations. The internal law of indigenous nations encompasses traditional law, western law adopted by indigenous nations, and a blend of western and indigenous law. Underscoring this purpose is the recognition that traditional law is a source of law."

It makes for good reading. Here's my recommendations:

Tribal Law as Indigenous Social Reality and Separate Consciousness [Re]Incorporating Customs and Traditions into Tribal Law by Christine Zuni Cruz "explores the reflection of traditional legal concepts and values in enacted laws of indigenous nations. The premise of this article is that "an indigenous nation’s sovereignty is strengthened if its law is based upon its own internalized values and norms." Zuni-Cruz’s article questions the impact of enacted western laws on indigenous communities’ people and culture."

Troublesome Aspects of Western Influences on Tribal Justice Systems and Laws by Alex Tallchief Skibine "provides readers with an overview of the colonial process by which tribal written law resembles the legal structures of the states and the federal government. Skibine’s article highlights why and how tribal court systems have been influenced by western law, as well as the problems associated with the integration of tribal justice systems into the U.S. political system."

The Status of Traditional Indian Justice by Agustin Grijalva "discusses constitutional reforms in Ecuador that recognize traditional Indian law and traditional Indian authorities as collective Indian rights. This article explores the historical background of the constitutional reforms, how these reforms might affect the current Ecuadorian judicial system and some potential problems in administering these reforms."

Diné Bi Beenahaz’áanii: Codifying Indigenous Consuetudinary Law in the 21st Century by Kenneth Bobroff : "The fundamental laws of the Diné, "the People" in the Navajo language, were placed by the Holy People long before Spaniards arrived in the New World. Since Coronado first traveled to Navajo Country almost five centuries ago, Diné have resisted European assaults on Navajo Law. On November 1, 2002, the Navajo Nation Council acknowledged the survival of the fundamental laws of the Diné, recognizing four specific constituent elements "traditional law, customary law, natural law, and common law" and explaining the principles of each."

Read all the articles here.


Post a Comment

<< Home