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Kesto 2h 0min

Whilst Sámi rights are well recognised in the domestic law of Nordic countries, recent Supreme Court judgments paint a different picture – one which suggests that Nordic law fails to comply with the human rights of indigenous peoples. 

On 11 October 2021, in a landmark and unanimous decision, the Norwegian Supreme Court held that the concession for a wind turbine project in the Fosen peninsula of Norway violated the indigenous Sami people’s rights to exercise their culture as the wind turbines prevented them from herding reindeer. In April 2022, the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court acquitted Sámi activists of breaking fishing rules on the Tenojoki river, in a ruling that suggests current regulations conflict with the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of Sámi people in Finland. In January 2020, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled against the government of Sweden, declaring that the Girjas Sami Village holds exclusive rights to hunt and fish within its land management area. 

The purpose of the seminar is, in this respect, to describe and elucidate the significance of these recent court rulings. For this occasion, we have invited three eminent Sámi experts to canvass the judgments. First ​​Mattias Åhrén, Professor at Uit and one of the world-renowned authorities on the rights of indigenous peoples will introduce the issue and offer his insight into the notability of the Girija case, for which he acted as expert witness. Next up, Øyvind Ravna, Professor at UiT and Chair of the Sami Law Group, will speak more in depth about the rights of the Sámi people in Norway and the recent Fosen decision. Finally, Áslat Holmberg, a Vice President of the Saami Council and a fisherman from Njuorggán – situated on the banks of the Deatnu River, will expound the value of the recent Deatnu decision of the Supreme Court of Finland.  

The program will consist of the following panels:

17.00  Mattias Åhrén, The 2020 Swedish Supreme Court Decision in the Girjas Case

17.30  Øyvind Ravna, The 2021 Norwegian Supreme Court Decision in the Fosen Case

18.00  Áslat Holmberg,The 2022 Finnish Supreme Court Decision in the Deatnu Case

18.30      Panel Discussion and Q & A

19.00      Closing

The panel discussion is moderated by Dorothée Cambou. 

Please register for the event in Tiedekulma via E-form: 




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The event is coordinated by the Nordic Research Network for Sámi and Indigenous Peoples Law (NORSIL) in line with its research project dedicated to Sami Sustainability (​​funded by the Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences).