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Strategies of JusticeAboriginal Peoples, Persistent Injustice, and the Ethics of Political Action$
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Burke A. Hendrix

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833543.001.0001

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Justified Lawbreaking

Justified Lawbreaking

(p.116) Chapter 4 Justified Lawbreaking
Strategies of Justice

Burke A. Hendrix

Oxford University Press

What kinds of strategies toward laws and political procedures are those facing persistent injustice permitted to adopt? While civil disobedience is straightforward, other cases are more challenging. This chapter outlines a set of possible strategies, and it evaluates two in depth: circumvention and nullification. In some circumstances, political actors might improve their own conditions by circumventing certain kinds of laws or political procedures, such as through illegal forms of lobbying intended to influence election outcomes. The chapter argues that circumvention of electoral or other laws would be permissible where it can reduce profound harms. The chapter then turns to the case of armed nullification, in which an Aboriginal group takes up arms at the borders of its territories to prevent the exercise of state laws or policies. The chapter argues that such nullification is often permissible, even if it must be pursued carefully to avoid harm to Aboriginal communities themselves.

Keywords:   rule of law, civil disobedience, sexual violence, armed blockades, legal circumvention, legal nullification

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