Strategic Litigation Impacts - Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights

Open Society Justice Initiative

This report is the third in a planned five-volume series looking at the effectiveness of strategic litigation. Strategic litigation is potentially a powerful engine of social change. Yet it is also costly, time-consuming, and uncertain. Studying its strengths, weaknesses, unintended consequences, and the conditions under which it flourishes or flounders may yield lessons that enhance its potential and improve future social change efforts. 

It examines strategic litigation of the right of indigenous peoples to their lands in Kenya, Malaysia, and Paraguay, as well as in regional and international jurisdictions, principally the Inter-American and African human rights systems. The aim of this study is to provide some reflection on the impact of litigation in securing land rights across the globe. However, to be able to offer an in-depth analysis, the study focuses on three highly diverse countries which have witnessed a high level of such litigation: Kenya, Malaysia, and Paraguay. Through its focus on these three countries, the report seeks to provide insights that may be relevant to other indigenous communities, litigators, and advocates around the world.

Read the executive summary here and the full publication here.