Legal scholars defend Indigenous rights

A statement condemning violations of Indigenous nations’ internationally-recognized right to free, prior, and informed consent — drafted by UWindsor law professors — has been signed by more than 270 lawyers and legal academics.

Written by professors Beverly Jacobs, Sujith Xavier, Reem Bahdi, and Jillian Rogin with jurist and journalist Azeezah Kanji, the statement was published Monday as an opinion piece in the Toronto Star.

“Canadian law and legal institutions … have long served as instruments of settler colonialism,” it reads. “While Wet’suwet’en land and water protectors are being depicted as transgressors of the ‘rule of law,’ they are in fact upholding Indigenous and international legal orders.”

The signatories call on Canadian governments to respect Indigenous legal orders and the rights of Indigenous peoples enshrined in international law, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Read the full statement, “Lawyers and Legal Academics Supporting Rights of Indigenous Land and Water Protectors.”

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