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Means Of Acquisition

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Chapter Summary

Traditionally, international law recognizes five different forms of territorial acquisition: occupation, prescription, cession, accretion and conquest. To different extents, these forms of territorial acquisition have largely contributed to indigenous dispossession. Regarding the theories of acquisition of indigenous territories, two main categories emerged: first the acquisition by conquest and second the acquisition of so-called legally "empty" territories. The first section of this chapter examines the rules that guided the conquest of indigenous territories, while the second section focuses on theories that advocate the non-existence of indigenous peoples' territorial rights. The chapter also highlights that the rules governing the conquest of territories have been applied in a particularly discriminatory manner against indigenous peoples.

Keywords: indigenous dispossession; indigenous peoples; international law; territorial rights; victims



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