The recognition of Indigenous customary law in water resource management

Donna Craig*, Elizabeth Gachenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The primary emphasis in most Anglo-American jurisdictions has been on research, policy and laws relating to the recognition of customary law in the context of property rights and the criminal justice systems. The appreciation of this connection in international environmental law is not novel. It is evident in the articulation of the concept of sustainable development which gained international significance in 1987 when it was adopted as the fundamental objective of the Brundtland Report. The appreciation of the link between Indigenous rights and human rights is a necessary precondition for the achievement of sustainable development by the Indigenous communities. The effect of the above provision is that under common law and statute substantial interruptions to traditional rights and customs are considered fatal to the recognition of Indigenous rights and interests, and there is no revival of rights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Water Law
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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