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15 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 847 (2011)
The International Law of Colonialism: A Comparative Analysis

handle is hein.journals/lewclr15 and id is 867 raw text is: SYMPOSIUM
The Future of International Law in Indigenous Affairs:
The Doctrine ofDiscovery, the United Nations, and the
Organization ofAmerican States
Robert]. Mille
The majority of the non-European world was colonized under an
international law that is known as the Doctrine of Discovery. Under this
legal principle, European countries claimed superior rights over
Indigenous nations. When European explorers planted flags and
religious symbols in the lands of native peoples, they were making legal
claims of ownership and domination over the lands, assets, and peoples
they had discovered. These claims were justified by racial, ethnocentric,
and religious ideas of the alleged superiority of European Christians.
This Article examines the application of Discovery by Spain, Portugal,
and England in the settler societies of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile,
New Zealand, and the United States. The comparative law analysis used
in this Article demonstrates that these three colonizing countries applied
the elements of the Doctrine in nearly identical ways against Indigenous
peoples. Furthermore, the six settler societies analyzed here continue to
apply this law today to restrict the human, property, and sovereign rights
of Indigenous nations and peoples. This Article concludes that basic
fairness and a restoration of the self-determination rights of Indigenous
peoples mandates that these countries work to remove the vestiges of the
Doctrine ofDiscovery from their modern day laws and policies.
Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon; Chief Justice,
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon; Citizen, Eastern
Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Board of Directors, Tribal Leadership Forum and
Oregon Historical Society.


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