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Mobile Indigenous Peoples Use of the 2006 Forest Rights Act in India: Access to Justice, Gender Equality, and Forest Governance

Sigamany, Indrani (2016) Mobile Indigenous Peoples Use of the 2006 Forest Rights Act in India: Access to Justice, Gender Equality, and Forest Governance. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Access to justice remains uneven and elusive for indigenous peoples dispossessed of their lands. The Forest Rights Act of India (2006) promises land security for forest peoples displaced from ancestral lands by the combined forces of colonial forest resource extraction and contemporary free-market economic development, which have disregarded customary indigenous land rights. This research challenges the assumptions: land rights legislation necessarily contributes to access to justice, and governments serve the interests of citizens in a democratic system such as India. I posit that justice is subverted by: a legal chronology of land expropriation during colonial occupation; contemporary neoliberal policies; and administrative injustice. These issues encouraged legal violations and exacerbated land dispossession. Socio-economic and gender inequalities and marginalization of mobile indigenous peoples compounds their land dispossession, and economic, social, legal disenfranchisement. Against this backdrop of disenfranchisement, the Forest Rights Act revolutionizes the potential of challenging land dispossession, and substantive rights become a metaphor for indigenous empowerment. Offering evidence that indigenous peoples have inadequate access to justice, I contend that economic policies need to collaborate with and reinforce political and judicial aspects. Triangulating scholarships on 1) access to justice, 2) economic policies, 3) forest governmentality, 4) gender discrimination and 5) legal literacy, this study seeks to reconcile these scholarships with empirical data on expropriation of forest land and the effects of the Forest Rights Act on indigenous access to justice in India. This research seeks to establish a new analytical framework which contextualizes control of indigenous forest rights through access to justice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Indigenous land rights, India, Forest Rights Act 2006, gender equality, access to justice, human rights, land dispossession, neoliberalism
Academic Units: The University of York > Law
Depositing User: Dr. Indrani Sigamany
Date Deposited: 10 May 2017 08:22
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 08:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17028

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