Publication of the week: Dr Sarah Sargent

2 March 2015

Sargent, S., “What’s in a name: The contested meaning of free, prior and informed consent in international financial law and indigenous rights”, in Valentina Vadi & Bruno de Witte (eds), Culture and International Economic Law (London: Routledge, 2015), 87-103.  ISBN: 978-0-415-72326-8.

This chapter is included in an edited book which covers the intersections of culture and international economic law. This chapter looks at the issues that arise in the intersection of international financial institutions and the rights of indigenous peoples. It focuses on conflicting meanings that have been given to the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” by each. As the internal policies of international financial institutions require them to adhere to this principle, the interpretation given to this becomes very critical in the day-to-day effect it has on the lives of indigenous groups who are potentially impacted by development or other projects that involve financing from international financial institutions. The contested meaning over this arises as to whether it simply requires consultation with indigenous groups, or whether, as the terminology suggests, it vests a veto right with indigenous groups. The chapter suggests a resolution can be found through use of a new business model proposed in 2013 by former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Professor James Anaya

Read more about the book on the Routledge website.

Dr Sarah Sargent is the stream convener (since 2009) for the indigenous and minority rights stream for the annual SLSA conference. Her ongoing research interests focus on issues of culture and cultural heritage, in different areas of law including transracial adoption and the rights of the child, and the rights of indigenous peoples.