Self-Determination and Secession in International Law

Hardcover | July 5, 2014

EditorChristian Walter, Antje von Ungern-Sternberg, Kavus Abushov

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Peoples and minorities in many parts of the world assert a right to self-determination, autonomy, and even secession from a state, which naturally conflicts with that state's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The right of a people to self-determination and secession has existed as aconcept within international law since the American Declaration of Independence in 1776, but the exact definition of these concepts, and the conditions required for their application, remain unclear. The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the Declaration ofIndependency of Kosovo (2010), which held that the Kosovo declaration of independence was not in violation of international law, has only led to further questions. This book takes four conflicts in the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a starting point for examining the current state of the law of self-determination and secession. Four entities, Transnistria (Moldova), South Ossetia, Abkhazia (both Georgia), and Nagorno-Karabakh(Armenia), claim to be entitled not only to self-determination but also to secession from their mother state. For this entitlement they rely on historic affiliations, and on charges of discrimination and massive human rights violations committed by their mother state. This book sets out its analysisof these critical issue in three parts, providing a detailed understanding of the principles of international law on which they rely: The first part sets out the contours and meaning of self-determination and secession, including an overall assessment of secession within the Commonwealth ofIndependent States. The second section provides case studies investigating the events in Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabach in greater detail. The third and final section extends the scope of the examination, providing a comparative analysis of similar conflicts involvingquestions of self-determination and secession in Kosovo, Western Sahara, and Eritrea.

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Peoples and minorities in many parts of the world assert a right to self-determination, autonomy, and even secession from a state, which naturally conflicts with that state's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The right of a people to self-determination and secession has existed as aconcept within international law since the Americ...

Christian Walter is Professor of Law at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universitat, Munich. Previously, he worked as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law, Heidelberg, clerked at the German Federal Constitutional Court, and was as a professor of law at the Friedrich-Schiller-Unive...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:July 5, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019870237X

ISBN - 13:9780198702375

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Table of Contents

1. Christian Walter, Antje von Ungern-Sternberg, Kavus Abushov: IntroductionPart I: General Issues of Self-Determination and Secession2. Joshua Castellino: International Law and Self-determination: Peoples, Minorities, and Indigenous Peoples3. Stefan Oeter: The Role of Recognition and Non-Recognition with Regard to Secession4. Antonello Tancredi: Secession and Use of Force5. Anne Peters: The Principle of "Uti Possidetis Juris": How Relevant Is It for Issues of Secession?6. Christian Walter: Recent Developments: The Kosovo Advisory Opinion: What It Says and What It Does Not Say7. Thomas Burri: Secession in the CIS: Causes, Consequences, and Emerging PrinciplesPart II: Case Studies from the Commonwealth of Independent States8. Bill Bowring: Transnistria9. Christopher Waters: South Ossetia10. Farhad Mirzayev: Abkhazia11. Heiko Kruger: Nagorno-KarabachPart III: Comparative Studies12. James Summers: Kosovo13. Sven Simon: Western Sahara14. Gregory Fox: Eritrea