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International Law

Professor Foster Presents at International Conference on Indigenous-Industry Agreements

October 17, 2017

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Professor George K. Foster presented his latest paper at a conference on “The Law and Politics of Indigenous-Industry Agreements,” held at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law on October 13 & 14, 2017.  This multi-disciplinary conference brought together scholars and practitioners from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Africa to engage the growing phenomenon of private agreements between commercial project developers and indigenous communities affected by development activities.  

Professor Foster’s talk was entitled “Essential Preconditions for a Legitimate Indigenous-Industry Agreement.”  His paper draws on evidence from countries around the world to outline a framework for explaining why agreements are signed for some projects and not for others, as well as to account for disparate outcomes in the perceived legitimacy of agreements.  In addition, the paper offers recommendations on how an indigenous community can approach negotiations to maximize the prospects for a successful outcome.

Professor Foster also served at the conference as a commentator on papers examining local content requirements in indigenous-industry agreements and the legal framework for these agreements in Peru.

Other participants at the conference included Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh of Griffith University in Australia; Thomas Isaac of the law firm Cassels Brock (author of a leading treatise on Canadian Aboriginal law and former Minister’s Special Representative on Aboriginal affairs); Dwight Newman and Ibironke Odumosu-Ayanu of the University of Saskatchewan; Karen Drake of York Univeristy, Osgoode Hall Law School; Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye of Columbia University; and Damiola Olawuyi of Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, among others.

The papers from the conference will be collected in a book to be published by multinational publisher Routledge.