The international law principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources posits that governments bear the sovereign rights to manage natural resources on behalf of citizens. That citizens have rights over natural resources at all however detaches from governance realities showcasing citizen marginalization. This necessitates revisiting the issue of what rights citizens actually have over natural resources. Qualitatively investigating this issue reveals rights of citizens over natural resources now embedded in the doctrine of peoples-based permanent sovereignty over natural resources (PPSNR). However, this doctrine appears to be subject to international law limitations and might not be effective within domestic jurisdictions. Alternatively, PPSNR may be domestically driven by common ownership and environmental justice claims. These two drivers may be able to advance distributive justice rights of citizens to returns from natural resources exploitation within domestic jurisdictions. These rights could be actuated through rent distribution practices. This results in functional distributive justice.
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The author is grateful to Drs. Gabriela Sabau, Andreas Klinke, Jose Lam, Jackeline Walsh, Stephen Blackwood, Paul Foley, and Barr. Femi Aborisade for commenting on previous drafts of this article. Thanks to the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Steven D. Roper, and other editors of the journal as well as the three anonymous referees for their helpful comments. Errors are entirely those of the author.
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Onifade, T.T. Peoples-Based Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources: Toward Functional Distributive Justice?. Hum Rights Rev 16, 343–368 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12142-015-0375-1
- Permanent sovereignty over natural resources
- Common ownership
- Environmental justice
- Distributive justice
- Resource rent distribution