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Normative Discourse

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Created: August 11, 2003
Latest Update: August 11, 2003

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Index of Topics on Site Normative Discourse

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, August 2003.
"Fair use" encouraged.

This lecture focuses on normative rights and discourse.

First, let's check the dictionary meaning:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:

Webber, Jeremy (1996) 'Relations of Force and Relations of Justice: the emergence of normative community between colonists and Aboriginal peoples' Osgoode Hall Law Journal 33 (4): 623-60. Backup Link added August 11, 2003.

Quotes from the Webber article:

"These two approaches....Both trace the origin of Aboriginal rights to positive rules existing independently of the relationship between the parties. In both, Aboriginal rights find their source in and derive their content from a set of norms existing before colonization, either the law of the colonial power, the law of the Aboriginal people, or the rules of international law....Aboriginal rights result from the application of a pre-existing body of law (application understood in its simplest sense), not the emergence of norms through the occult processes of social interaction. . . . at p. 625 " This way of approaching the issue is undoubtedly popular, but it is also wrong. It distorts the motives that underlie the evolution of Aboriginal rights, motives that give those rights their normative force. "This paper..... suggests that they [Aboriginal rights] are the result of the interaction between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, and the processes of reflection on that experience, rather than the positive law of one people. They constitute a set of norms that are fundamentally intercommunal, created not by the dictation of one society, but by the interaction of various societies through time. . . . at p. 626