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The Fulfilment of Norway’s International Legal Obligations to the Sámi – Assessed by the Protection of Rights to Lands, Waters and Natural Resources

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During the two last decades of the 20th century, Norway has undertaken several commitments pursuant to international law that protect Sámi lands, culture, language and way of life. Norway’s 1988 constitutional amendment framed after the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 27 and the ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention no. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries in 1990 are the most prominent of these. The adoption of the 1999 Norwegian Human Rights Act incorporating the ICCPR as internal Norwegian law should also be mentioned. This article examines how Norway complies with the international legal obligations the country has undertaken to protect the indigenous Sámi culture, in relation to land-based renewal resources, marine resources, and mineral resources.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway; Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Lapland, Finland,


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