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14 - Inter-Nation Relationships and the Natural World as Relation

from Part III - Alternatives and Remakings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2022

Usha Natarajan
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Julia Dehm
Affiliation:
La Trobe University, Victoria
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Summary

This chapter shows that the seeds of a global failure to live relationally with the Earth are embedded in colonialism, which is the source of state-powered international law. State-powered international law must be decolonised, and this chapter points to ways this could be done through examining the ‘old ways’ of Aboriginal Peoples of the continent now known as Australia. Those ‘old ways’ sustained and constituted laws for thousands of years and remain our future; always was, always will be, even though colonialism has challenged Aboriginal obligations and relationships to the natural world. Aboriginal laws respected the authority of hundreds of different nations and continue to respect those old ways and authorities in the face of neoliberalism and ongoing colonialism. Colonial Australia denied our existence, yet attempted to demolish our languages and cultures and assimilate the consequences. This chapter interrogates how states could respect and acknowledge all Peoples as having an inherent right to self-determination, and as a consequence, all Peoples as having a right to collectively care for country and benefit from a relationship to land which sustains future generations.

Type
Chapter
Information
Locating Nature
Making and Unmaking International Law
, pp. 354 - 374
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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