University of Auckland Law School associate professor Claire Charters has been awarded a 2017 Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to investigate the ways indigenous peoples' rights are constitutionally recognised throughout the world.
Dr Charters (Ngāti Whakaue, Tūwharetoa, Ngā Puhi, Tainui), who specialises in indigenous peoples’ rights in international and constitutional law, is one of ten people honoured with a Rutherford Fellowship for her research entitled Constitutional Transformation to Accommodate Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Lessons from Around the Globe.
She will evaluate various existing and proposed methods of constitutionally recognising and accommodating indigenous peoples’ rights around the globe, with the aim of informing potential reform in New Zealand.
Her research will draw on case studies from Bolivia, Mexico and Canada, Australia and the Pacific, and Norway, Finland and Sweden. She will focus on the recognition of indigenous jurisdiction and autonomy, protection of treaty and aboriginal rights, rights to lands, rights to culture and access to political power.
Dr Charters says she hopes to provide pragmatic recommendations that will lead to better constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples in New Zealand and internationally.