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Abstract

In its three latest decisions on indigenous land rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has afforded scant protection to indigenous peoples. Through an analysis of each case in terms of substantive and procedural law, this Article evaluates the challenges indigenous peoples face when pursuing their claims before the Court. I argue that the European Court's narrow interpretation of the "right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions" codified in Protocol 1 (Article 1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has failed to consider the importance of collective lands in securing the cultural survival of indigenous peoples, their economic well being, and their social and spiritual integrity. In contrast, other regional human rights systems have adopted a more progressive stance that conforms with prevalent international norms and standards.

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