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Article examines duty to consult indigenous groups in Inter-American system after Sarayaku case against Ecuador

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29 November 2012

[PDF] The Duty to Consult in the Inter-American System: Legal Standards after Sarayaku

Author: Lisl Brunner & Karla Quintana, Insight

[T]he Inter-American Court of Human Rights declared the international responsibility of the State of Ecuador for failing to consult the Sarayaku indigenous community when it granted oil concessions in the community’s ancestral lands. Several elements of the decision are noteworthy: for the first time, the Court acknowledges the violation of the collective rights of the Sarayaku rather than the individual rights of the community’s members. The Court held that the duty to consult with indigenous communities about legal or administrative measures that will affect them directly has become a general principle of international law. The decision also further elucidates the source of the duty to consult in the Inter-American system. [refers to Compañía General de Combustibles (part of Southern Cross)]

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