Gente Indígena

HINGITAQ 53 vs. Denmark, Application No. 18584/04 (decision from European Court of Human Rights as to admissibility of application)

THE FACTS The applicants are 428 individuals from the Thule District in Greenland, and Hingitaq 53, a group that represents the interests of relocated Inughuit (the Thule Tribe) and their descendants in a legal action against the Danish Government.  They were represented before the Court by Mr Christian Harlang, a lawyer practising in Copenhagen.

A.  The circumstances of the case The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicants, may be summarised as follows.

Supreme Court of Denmark, Decision of November 28, 2003, in cases 489/1999 and 490/1999, Hingitaq 53 v. The Danish Prime Minister’s Office

(This is an excerpt taken from the Danish Supreme Court decision reproduced in the ECHR decision in Hingitaq 53 v.  Denmark)

In a judgment of 28 November 2003 the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the High Court’s judgment and held as follows:

OIT Convenio 169 (espanol)

La Conferencia General de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo:


Convocada en Ginebra por el Consejo de Administración de la Oficina
Internacional del Trabajo, y congregada en dicha ciudad el 7 junio 1989, en su
septuagésima sexta reunión;


Observando las normas internacionales enunciadas en el Convenio y en la
Recomendación sobre poblaciones indígenas y tribales, 1957;


Report of the Committee set up to examine the representation alleging non-observance by Denmark of ILO 169 (2000) (relocation of the population of the Uummannaq community in the Thule District of Greenland)

REPRESENTATION (article 24) - 2000 - DENMARK - C169 ----
Report of the Committee set up to examine the representation alleging
non-observance by Denmark of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention,
1989 (No. 169), made under article 24 of the ILO Constitution by the National
Confederation of Trade Unions of Greenland (Sulinermik
Inuussutissarsiuteqartut Kattuffiat-SIK) (SIK)

Costa Rica -- Exp. 00-000543-0007-CO (espanol) (modifying annulment) (11 November 2000)

(Amending part of the decision No. 08019 of 8 September 2000, in the sense that the invalidity of the Tender No. 1-97 LP to the company MKJ XPLORATION Inc., affects only land Blocks 2 and 4 in the territories that are covered for Indian reservations.)


Exp: 00-000543-0007-CO

Res: 2000-10075

SALA CONSTITUCIONAL DE LA CORTE SUPREMA DE JUSTICIA. San José, a las quince horas con quince minutos del diez de noviembre del dos mil.-

Exp. 00-000543-0007-CO (espanol) (annulling offshore oil exploration license awarded by government) (8 September 2000)

(failure to consult with indigenous people prior to issuing oil concession violates due process, respect for fundamental rights of the indigenous peoples concerned, leaving it impossible to be able to defend the natural environment of their land and their right to act with a guarantee of their quality of life; annulling award of oil concession)

(see November 2000 opinion, which modifies the decision in this case)


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