Case studies on the implementation of significant land rights decisions

As outlined in ESCR-Net’s Common Charter for Collective Struggle, across the world the current dominant economic, social and political models are resulting in communities experiencing impoverishment and dispossession amid abundance, corporate capture of government institutions and decision-making, deepening inequality, the degradation of ecosystems and climate change, and growing repression against human rights activity. These global patterns give rise to numerous specific and structural human rights violations, including in relation to the use of, access to, and control of land.

Litigation, as part of a wider advocacy strategy, can play a key role in progressing laws, policies and narratives related to land. This is reflected in the many court decisions around the world which address such violations. Implementation of these cases, while not always straightforward, presents opportunities for moving towards positive ways of engaging with land which support the interrelated enjoyment of human rights and environmental wellbeing. To understand these issues, apply lessons and innovative strategies to ensure court decisions result in effective change in practice, and ultimately realise human rights related to land and more broadly, the SLWG has worked collectively to advance implementation in the following landmark land rights cases: