Abstracts 2013

Issue no. 1/2013


Human rights at stake in the Circumpolar Regions, 1-3.
Øyvind Ravna


Resource Extraction from Territories of Indigenous Minority Peoples in the Russian North: International Legal and Domestic Regulation, 4-20.
Ruslan Garipov

Abstract: The existing system of international legal and domestic protection of
indigenous minority peoples’ interests in the Russian North concerning mining
on their territories is analyzed in this article. This is an especially urgent issue
due to the number of indigenous minority peoples in the Russian North who
still keep to their traditional way of life (reindeer herding, hunting, fishing, and
gathering). The article is drawn from the author’s personal experience and field
work in the Russian North, where he met with local NGO leaders, authorities,
and representatives of indigenous minority peoples (Nenets). The novelty of the
work is that the author uses both legal analysis of source documents as well as
empirical methods during the course of the research, and comes to conclusions
which could have practical significance for Russian legislation.

Key words: indigenous minority peoples, aborigines, Russian Northern Territories,
natural resources, traditional way of life.

The «Colonial Clause» and Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights: The European Convention on Human Rights Article 56 and its Relationship to Article 1, 21-41.
Magne Frostad

Abstract: Article 56 of the European Convention on Human Rights is often referred to as the «colonial clause» and it has received little attention by commentators, whereas there has been extensive writing on Article 1of the Convention regarding the extraterritorial reach of that treaty. Article 56 has nevertheless the effect of limiting the responsibility of Member States for acts and omissions of the authorities of its dependent territories, although the Member State is still responsible if it acts directly through its own metropolitan officials in such territories. By employing an example of Norway, this paper finds it unnecessary for this country to undertake obligations pursuant to Article 56 in relation to its dependent territories in and around Antarctica, since there is currently little activity there which is not already covered by the extraterritorial regime of Article 1 of the Convention. The paper additionally considers the pros and cons of extending the Convention to territories under Article 56 should future developments lead to a larger and more permanent population of these areas.

Key words: European Convention on Human Rights, extraterritoriality, dependencies, South Atlantic, Antarctica

The legal basis of Sami reindeer herding rights in Sweden, 43-61
Eivind Torp

Abstract: This article discusses the basis of the Sami right to pursue reindeer herding, and how that right has been regulated in law. Two aspects of this right are particularly significant: establishing which land areas are covered by the reindeer herding right and clarifying what the right entails. The legal institution of ‘immemorial prescription’ has long been considered highly significant in judicial trials concerning the reindeer herding rights. In the wake of a ruling by the Swedish Supreme Court, that picture has now changed.

Key words: Sami reindeer herding, customary law, immemorial prescription, occupation, Swedish Supreme Court.

An Indigenous Public Sphere? The Media and the 2009 Sámediggi Election Campaign, 62-89.
Eva Josefsen and Eli Skogerbø

Abstract: This article discusses media coverage of the Norwegian Sámediggi
election campaign in 2009, focusing on the research question: Did Sami voters,
scattered over a vast geographical area and split into multiple language groups, have a
public space in the media, where Sami politics could be discussed ahead of the Sámediggi
elections in 2009? Our findings show there was indeed a public space for Sami
politics, but unequal communication opportunities for Sami voters, depending
on language and geography. In the north the media provided a bilingual public
space, as both Sami and Norwegian newspapers covered the election. Voters in
the south were offered less news and debate about the Sámediggi election and
coverage was most likely to be in Norwegian. One explanation for these differences
is that the number of Sami voters is small, and further south the voters
are fewer and more scattered. The differences were also explained in terms of
relevance of issues. The degree of conflict and controversy over Sami politics is
higher in Finnmark than in other parts of Sápmi and Norway.

Key words: Media, Sami, Parliament, Sámediggi, election, Norway

New Developments in Russian Regulation of Navigation on the Northern Sea Route, 90-119.
Jan Jakub Solski

Abstract: The regime of navigation on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) is still
largely based on legislation adopted by the Soviet Union, and features certain
deviations in the way Russia’s international legal rights and obligations are implemented.
In recent years the Russian Federation has demonstrated interest
in revising NSR legislation with the preparation of one single comprehensive
Federal Act on the NSR, and also a Federal Act to introduce amendments to
pre-existing legislation. The latter option has gained the support of legislators,
as the newly promulgated Federal Law on the NSR, dated July 28th 2012, No.
132 FZ, established grounds for further specific regulatory acts to have effect
on commercial navigation on the waters of the route.
The primary purpose of this article is to discuss the processes leading up to
this long-awaited decision, as well as the implications of the new legislation for
navigation on the NSR.
The creative legal ambiguity of the Russian domestic legislation has historically
allowed for divergent arguments, voiced by Russian scholars, in respect to the
assumed legal basis for the Russian extended authority to regulate navigation on
the NSR and the limitations thereof. Alternative views have provided grounds
for different legislative proposals and for heated discussions leading to the adoption
of the most recent law. This article will trace the development of the legal
thinking in Russia with respect to the allocation of jurisdiction on the NSR.

Key words: Northern Sea Route (NSR) and legislation, new NSR law, NSR navigation,
Article 234 of UNCLOS, Russian law, Russian Arctic

Debate on Arctic Law and Politics

A tougher approach towards indigenous people in the Russian NorthKristoffer Svendsen

Mining, human rights, and local autonomy in Sápmi Øyvind Ravna

Commentary: Canada’s ‘Idle No More’ Movement – Grace Li Xiu Woo