Much has been said about the man, Mateo Cariño and his Native Title Doctrine, but less is known about the relevance and importance of his legacy to the continuing quest for justice among the Indigenous Peoples of the world.
Cariño earned the nickname "the Ibaloy David" for his courage and leadership skills as he stood against the Spanish Regime and later on the American Regime fighting for his people's lands and right to self-determination. His victory in the US Supreme Court paved the way for the reparation of injustices committed against different Indigenous communities as a result of colonization and development.
Courts and Governements in various jurisdictions have applied the principles of the Cariño Doctrine in adjudicating land claims by indigenous peoples in different ways, depending on the legal system and context of each case. However, some common elements of the application of the doctrine include:
Recognition of ancestral land rights: Courts have recognized the rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands, based on their traditional occupation and use of the land, as well as their cultural and spiritual connection to it.
Protection of cultural heritage: Courts have acknowledged the importance of protecting the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples, including their traditional knowledge, practices, and beliefs, which are often closely tied to their ancestral lands.
Consultation and consent: Courts have required governments and other parties to consult with indigenous peoples and obtain their free, prior, and informed consent before making decisions that affect their ancestral lands, in accordance with international human rights standards.
Fair and equitable compensation: Courts have ordered governments and other parties to provide fair and equitable compensation to indigenous peoples for any loss or damage to their ancestral lands, as well as for any benefits derived from their use.
Recognition of customary law: Courts have recognized the customary law and practices of indigenous peoples as a valid source of law, and have applied them in adjudicating land claims, where appropriate.
Overall, the application of the Cariño Doctrine principles in adjudicating land claims has aimed to promote the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples over their ancestral lands, and to ensure that their voices and perspectives are taken into account in decision-making processes that affect them.