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31 See, Nayar, J (2002) ‘Orders of Inhumanity, in Falk, R, Ruiz, L E J and Walkers, R B J (eds) Reframing the International: Law, Culture, Politics (London, Routledge) p 107, at p 120.

32 Thus, we understand the cries of defiance that reverberate against globalized violence, be it the ‘Ya Basta’ of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, to the ‘Our World is Not for Sale’ of the worldwide peasant and so-called ‘anti-globalisation’ movements.

33 Shivji, supra, n 24, p 4.

34 See the ‘verdicts’ of the numerous Peoples’ Tribunals that have become part of peoples’ political action. Of these, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, based in Rome, has had the longest experience of invoking a people’s justice; see <> 15 Jan 2007. Also well established is the Indian People’s Tribunal on Human Rights, see 15 Jan 2007; and the more issue specific Permanent People’s Tribunal on the Right to Food and the Rule of Law in Asia; see, <> 15 Jan 2007. The ‘tribunals movement’ has recently acquired its most politically visible manifestation as a result of the coming together of a large of organizations as the World Tribunal on Iraq, culminating in a final session in Istanbul in June 2005. For a discussion of the politics of ‘doing law’ and peoples’ tribunals as an alternative site for political-legal judgement, see Nayar, J (2001) ‘A People's Tribunal Against the Crime of Silence? - The Politics of Judgement and an Agenda for People's Law’, Law, .Social Justice & Global Development (LGD), <> 15 Jan 2007. For a specific analysis of the World Tribunal on Iraq initiative, see Nayar, J (2006) ‘Taking Empire Seriously: Empire’s Law, Peoples’ Law, and the World Tribunal on Iraq’ in Bartholomew, A (ed) Empire’s Law: The American Imperial Project and the ‘War to Remake the World’ (London, Pluto Press), p 314. Also, for a review of tribunal initiatives from the point of view of human rights practice, see, Klinghoffer, J A (2002) International Citizen’s Tribunals: Mobilising Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights (New York, Palgrave)

35 See, for example, The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples (The Algiers Declaration) 1976, which has served as a powerful articulation of the philosophical-ideological positioning that informs a peoples’ law perspective. For discussions on the Algiers Declaration, see Shivji, I (1989) The Concept of Human Rights in Africa (London, CODESRIA), especially Chapter 4; and Falk, R (1981) ‘The Algiers Declaration of the Rights of People', in Falk, R Human Rights and State Sovereignty (New York, Holmes & Meier).

36 This is, as Baxi sees it, a critical role of the ‘contemporary’ human rights movements:

‘In contrast, [to the ‘Modern’ human rights paradigm], the ‘contemporary’ human rights paradigm is based on the premise of radical self-determination … Self-determination insists that every person has the right to a voice, the right to bear witness to violation, and a right to immunity against ‘disarticulation’ by concentrations of economic, social and political formations.’;

See, Baxi, supra, n 23, p 6.

37 Although true generally of peoples’ mobilisations, this is particularly relevant to the struggles of indigenous peoples to reclaim their histories. A fantastic example of this is the Confederated Native Court Judgement against the ‘Newcomer Courts’ (the US and Canadian Supreme Courts) which provides, through a peoples’ tribunal, for a re-telling of the Native American/White Settler history of North America. The Judgement states:

‘UPON TAKING judicial notice of the suppression and genocide of the native people caused by the prematurely assumed jurisdiction of the newcomer courts, and in accordance with the accompanying reasons for judgment, this native court declares:

1. Court jurisdiction prima facie territorially is vested in the native courts and precluded from the newcomer courts; and

2. That in the event the newcomer courts are unable to agree with and help to uphold this declaration of right, this court invites the newcomer courts to join with this court in referring the contested jurisdictional issue for independent and impartial third party court adjudication in the international arena; or, in the alternative

3. That in the event the newcomer courts or their governments wish to submit evidence, law or argument to this native court so as to deny the premises, findings or law as expressed herein or in the accompanying reasons for judgment, they are welcome to do so upon notifying this court of that intent.’

See, <> 26 June 2005. Similarly, see also, Merry, S E (1997) ‘Legal Pluralism and Transnational Culture: The Ka Ho’Okolokolonui Kanaka Maoli Tribunal, Hawai’I, 1993’, in Wilson, B.A (ed), Human Rights, Culture and Context: Anthropological Perspectives (London, Pluto) p 28.

38 The World Social Forum ‘Charter of Principles’, for example, is a clear statement reclaiming political space; see> 24 March 2007. When we understand that the current wave of peoples’ movements, apparently defying the hitherto hallowed institutions of ‘legitimate power’, represent more than simply manifestation of dissent and protest, but rather, and more importantly, as manifestations of a different conception of political process, then we are able to make the conceptual leap to a possibility of speaking about redefined ‘law’; see de Sousa Santos and Rodriguez-Garavito, supra, n 19; and Nayar, Taking Empire Seriously, supra, n 34.

39 See Esteva and Prakash, supra, n 28, Chapter 5.

40 Reclaiming the word and world of law is, obviously, is itself an act of decolonisation, or as in Freire’s terminology, an act of ‘conscientisation’; see Freire, P (1974) Pedagogy of the Oppressed (London, Penguin). Also inspirational to a broader understanding of law and law-doing that is rooted in the life-experiences of the ‘oppressed’ is the practice of ‘feminist liberation theology, of women claiming for themselves the worlds of the ‘word’ and of action as acts of liberation from the patriarchal and oligarchic Church; see, for example, Aquino, M P , (trans Livingstone, D), (1993) Our Cry for Life: Feminist Theology from Latin America (New York, Orbis).

41 Personal communication from the Anjuman Mazarain Punjab, 30 June 2003. The Anjuman Mazarain Punjab is a million strong tenant farmer’s movement demanding the rights of ownership to their lands; for an account, see Farooq, A (2003) ‘Rural Intifada’ <> Jan 15 2007.

42 A similar vision is contained in the ‘Living Democracy Movement’ initiated in India; see, Shiva, V (2002), ‘The Living Democracy Movement: Alternatives to the Bankruptcy of Globalisation’ <> 28 June 2005.

43 For the surrounding debates; see, Crawford, J (1992) The Rights of Peoples (Oxford, Oxford Uni. Press)

44 For an argument calling for conservatism in human rights theorizations along these lines, see Donnelly’s rejection of the asserted ‘right to development’; Donnelly, J (1984) ‘The Right to Development: How Not to Link Rights and Development’ in Welch Jr, C E and Meltzer, R I (eds) Human Rights and Development in Africa (Albany, State University of New York Press, Albany). It ought to be noted that refutations of the liberal-legalist’s opposition to any countenancing of a peoples’ intrusion into the definition of the law-definition domain have been many; See, Shivji, supra, n 24; Baxi, supra, n 23; and Gutto, S B O, (1993) Human and Peoples’ Rights for the Oppressed: Critical Essays on Theory and Practice from Sociology of Law Perspectives, (Lund, Lund Uni. Press)

45 Given the political vibrancy of social movement networks, and the growth of the social forum as a process of gatherings and voicings, adherence to the Charter of the World Social Forum may be regarded as a suitable benchmark by which the justice-claims of any ‘peoples’ so constituted may be determined. That ‘peoples’ is willing to subscribe to the principles of the other politics envisaged by the Charter and be so scrutinised may provide the means by which a certain normative accountability is to be gained.

46 This was, after all explicitly recognized by the ‘international community’. A return to the concerns behind the eventual jamboree that was the UN World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen, 1995, might remind us so; see generally the documents of the Summit, at <> 28 June 2005. A scathing indictment is further contained in the UN Report on globalisation, where the ‘order’ created and maintained by the World Trade Organisation was described as a ‘veritable nightmare’ for perpetuating conditions of impoverishment and dispossession; see, J. Oloka-Onyango and Deepika Udagama, (2000) ‘The Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Globalization and its Impact on the Full Enjoyment of Human Rights’, U.N. Commission on Human Rights, 52d Session, Provisional Agenda Item 4, P15, U.N. Doc.E/CN.4/Sub.2/2000/13.

47 This is quite simply, a matter of ‘choice’, exercised in contexts of power. Whether we chose to read narratives of suffering as ‘legal texts’, as ‘indictments’, depends on no divine prescription; this political choice exists very much in the domain of the profane. All it takes for this ‘choice’ to be made is a political position so to do, and the imagination to escape conceptual prisons.

48 The selection, and these are of the more conventional form of texts, is only to serve as an indication of the presence of peoples’ texts, despite the invisibility of these in mainstream legal literature. This highlights the urgency of creating a ‘Documentation Centre’ to systematise the collation of these documents.

49 Nyeleni, M 27 Feb 2007, <>, 17 Sept 2007.

50 Jakarta, Indonesia, 16 May 2006, <> 15 March 2007.

51 Online Sign-On Statement < > 17 Sept 2007.

52 Banna District, Nakorn Nayok Province, Thailand, 1 Nov 2001 < June 2005 >

53 Cochabamba, Bolivia, Dec 8 2000,

<> 28 June 2005.

54 Tokyo, Japan, 26 May 2003 <> 28 June 2005.

55 Jakarta, Indonesia, 21 May 2003 <> 28 June 2005.

56 Quezon City, Philippines, 1 Sept 2002,

<> 17 Sept 2007.

57 Sri Lanka, February 2002

<> 17 Sept 2007.

58 Savar, Bangladesh, December 2000 <> 28 June 2005.

59 Brazil, May 30, 1992 <> 17 Sept 2007.

60 Beijing, Republic of China, 7 Sept 1995, at> 17 Sept 2007.

61 The questions of the ‘legitimacy’ of peoples’ tribunals, and how a tribunal ‘constitutes’ itself, have long plagued every effort to invoke a tribunal process for a peoples’ articulation of justice; for a discussion, see Nayar, J ‘A People's Tribunal Against the Crime of Silence?’ supra, n 34; and Nayar, J ‘Taking Empire Seriously’, supra, n 34

62 See Nayar, J ‘Taking Empire Seriously’, supra, n 34

63 See, Nayar, J ‘A People's Tribunal Against the Crime of Silence?’ supra, n 34

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