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Minority Rights in the Pacific Region: A Comparative Legal Analysis

Joshua Castellino, David Keane


The book examines the extent to which States in the Pacific region have put in place legislative and administrative measures designed to promote and protect the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples within their State. The book starts by identifying and classifying the various States in the region, and commenting on general trends that are visible across the region. This analysis includes Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Island Countries in the geographic boundaries of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. The region is assessed against human rights standards, and the extent to which State practice conforms to international standards. There are five chapters in the book. The opening chapter conducts a tour d'horizon of the Pacific, identifying the states, delivering a history of the development of the region, comments on theories concerning the original migration of peoples, narrates colonial expeditions and enterprises, and assesses the emergence of independent government and institutions. The record of engagement with international human rights law is examined, in particular the States' ratification of human rights covenants. The attempt to implement a regional human rights mechanism for the Pacific is described with the merits of such a project debated. The subsequent four chapters are case-studies, designed to expose in detail, the extent to which indigenous and minority rights are implemented in the Pacific. Four states were chosen as representative of the challenges that face these groups in the region: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Each chapter is broken-down into four sections, according to the structure of the book series engaging with the history, identification of indigenous and minority groups, the rights of indigenous and minority groups, and the legal and other remedies available.

Bibliographic Information

Joshua Castellino, author

David Keane, author

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