The European Court of Justice might soon choose to consider an application by the Cornish Stannary Parliament. Citing discriminatory treatment by England in the Duchy of Cornwall — also known as the nation of Kernow — the Cornish petitioners’ case sounds in part like a British version of Cobell v Norton (the Indian Trust Fund case) combined with Western Shoshone v United States of America.
In fact, it’s possible all three of these disputes might eventually end up being heard by the International Court of Justice. Either way, we expect an increasing number of opportunities for public education on the rights of indigenous peoples in the near future.
Indeed, given recent rulings against the United States for violating ICERD, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, we anticipate the precedent set by the Shoshone Nation will land the four member states opposed to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights ( Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US ) increasingly in international judicial fora.
(Jay Taber — recipient of the Defender of Democracy award — is an author, columnist, and research analyst at Public Good Project.)