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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Indigenous Law Journal >
Fall 2006, Volume 5, No. 1 >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17126

Title: Negotiating the Constitutional Conundrum: Balancing Cultural Identity with Principles of Gender Equality in Post-Colonial South Pacific Societies
Authors: Corrin Care, Jennifer
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2006
Publisher: Indigenous Law Journal
Abstract: One of the most significant challenges currently facing the island states of the southwest Pacific is that of dealing with the competing claims of customary norms and rules on the one hand and contemporary international human rights on the other. Some commentators have assumed these goals to be complementary, a stance which ignores the fundamentally different values involved. Nowhere is the conflict between customary law and human rights more relevantly illustrated than in the area of gender equality. This paper looks at a small sample of South Pacific cases highlighting this conflict and at the way in which the competing norms have been balanced by the courts. The paper considers the constitutional conundrum facing South Pacific nations with a constitutional mandate to preserve a unique cultural identity, which involves a conservative manifesto, whilst upholding human rights agendas developed in a very different context. The dichotomy linking tradition with subjugation and Westernization with freedom and equality is also brought into question.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17126
ISSN: 1703-4566
Rights: Indigenous Law Journal
Appears in Collections:Fall 2006, Volume 5, No. 1

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