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David Deisley- Free, Prior, and Informed Consent: Observations on the Role of Extractive Industries in Advancing Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples

January 23, 2014 @ 12:15 am - 1:30 pm


A Wallace Stegner Green Bag

S.J. Quinney College of Law, Room 106
A consensus has emerged that Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) is a cornerstone component of the rights of indigenous peoples. Yet, a lack of understanding and consensus on how to “operationalize” FPIC persists. This ambiguity is the basis for challenges to extractive industry investment and is frustrating achievement of the ultimate goal of FPIC – realization of respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples. Extractive industries are uniquely situated by virtue of the reality that natural resources are geographically fixed to be catalysts for greater respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples. Also, extractive industries have the potential to create sustainable wealth in developing nations. These opportunities are not being fully realized due to the fact that states are mandated to protect the human rights of indigenous peoples, but the historic and persistent failure to perform that duty is the basis for international recognition of the human rights of indigenous peoples and FPIC. The theme of this presentation is that FPIC is not a right unique to indigenous peoples, but an inherent component of the right of self‐determination enjoyed by all people. However, in the context of the marginalization of indigenous peoples in the political and economic power structures of many, if not all, States, FPIC is an important tool that has the potential to remediate the historic and persistent failure to respect indigenous peoples’ human rights. Implementation of FPIC requires fundamental changes to political, cultural, and social biases and perspectives that have developed over centuries. As a result, implementation of FPIC will necessarily be a gradual process. As Professor James S. Anaya, immediate past Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, concluded: “Bridging this gap requires the concerted, goal‐oriented action of a myriad of governmental actors within the scope of their respective fields of competence, and involves a mixture of political will, technical capacity, and financial commitment.” The objective of this talk is to offer pragmatic recommendations for implementation of FPIC in the specific context of extractive industry development.

David Deisley, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for NOVAGOLD
Deisley is responsible for all aspects of NOVAGOLD’s legal governance and corporate affairs. With over 25 years of experience in the mining industry in the Americas, Dave has an extensive track record in project permitting, corporate social responsibility, mergers and acquisitions and corporate development. Formerly, he served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel for Goldcorp Inc. and prior to that, held several progressively responsible capacities with Barrick Gold Corporation, including Regional General Counsel for Barrick Gold North America. Dave obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Utah, College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.

1 hour CLE, email communications@law.utah.edu

This event is sponsored by the Wallace Stegner Center and the Center for Global Justice at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.


January 23, 2014
12:15 am - 1:30 pm
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S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States