Girjas Sami village wins historic land use case over Swedish state

1:36 min

The Supreme Court has granted a Sami association in the far north the sole right to manage small-game hunting on its land - and not the Swedish state.

Thursday's ruling brought to an end a decade long legal battle that pitted Girjas, the small cooperative that organizes reindeer herding in the area, against the state which owns the land.

The verdict means the Sami community in Norrbotten county will control who gets to fish and hunt small game in the group's reindeer herding area which covers some 5,500 square kilometers in parts of Gällivare and Kiruna municipalities.

That right used to belong to the Swedish state, which managed hunting and fishing through local county administrative boards. Though the court said its ruling only applied to Girjas and not all Sami areas in general.

In response to the ruling, the government says it will need a thorough review of the verdict first before making any decisions on what to do next.

We'll have more reaction to the ruling later today.