Judicial Interpretation and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Lands, Participation and Consultation. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ Approach

ISSN: 1571-8115
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This article proposes a critical legal analysis of the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, participation, and consultation. It focuses on the role that cultural diversity as a legal standard has played in the recognition of the indigenous peoples’ right to consultation and participation in all matters that directly affect them, as a guarantee for the protection of their right to communal property and natural resources traditionally used, and for safeguarding their cultural identity. In analysing the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court, special attention is paid to the interpretative methods applied by the regional tribunal, and to the manner in which a non-restrictive and ‘culturally friendly’ interpretation of conventionally protected human rights has contributed to the enlargement of their scope of protection, and to their enjoyment by one of the most marginalized and excluded sectors of Latin-American societies.