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Contemporary Regulation of Public Policy Participation of the Saami and Roma: A Truncated Process

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Participation of the Roma and Saami in public policy decision-making reveals several inherent shortcomings of current democratic decision-making institutions present in their structure, choice of political orientations and legal norms within States and at the supranational level. Furthermore, it exposes the problematic nature of sociocultural pluralism, specifically the extent to which the political decision-making process makes space for heterogeneous identities and identity-based perceptions. The legal normativity that establishes a right to participation in political decision-making for minority and indigenous peoples tends to reproduce the illusion of inclusion within democratic societies. In actuality, however, the overriding importance conferred on the interests of the dominant group confines participation by marginalised groups to the periphery of the system. With this in mind, our goal is to present a relatively precise picture of the current avenues available to the Roma and Saami for participation in public policy decisions. We begin with an overview of the existing forums for participation and then present the legal foundations of such participation, providing an assessment of the system throughout.

Affiliations: 1: Professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada Lead Counsel, Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) ; 2: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, McGill University Montréal, Canada


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