Customary Laws of the Sea and the Legacy of Colonisation

June 11 2020 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

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The interplay between law and the customs, fishing practices and collective rights of Indigenous peoples has shaped and continues to shape national and international approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean. 

This webinar will explore three case studies across Australia, the Pacific Northwest (the US), and South Africa, examining the impacts and legacies of colonisation and decolonisation on the customs and rights of coastal communities, and the role that the law plays in the development and dismantling of colonial institutions that continue to have an impact on ocean governance. 

The event will also discuss the importance of ensuring the inclusion, knowledge, perspectives, and rights of Indigenous peoples when approaching contemporary ocean challenges.


  • Explore the history of colonisation and its impact on Indigenous ocean-facing communities
  • Understand the legacies of colonisation / decolonisation on the customs and rights of coastal communities
  • Consider how legal systems have been used to dispossess or safeguard Indigenous access to marine spaces
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