INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE RISE OF NATIONS: THE STATE SYSTEM AND THE CHALLENGE OF ETHNIC GROUPS, Robert J. Beck, Thomas Ambrosio, eds., CQ Press, 2001
SELF-DETERMINATION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW, Robert McCorquodale, ed., Ashgate Publishing, 2000
35 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 7, 2011
Part I of this Article recounts the international norm of self-determination from Wilsonian formulations to the present. After a brief discussion of self-determination during the era of the League of Nations, the role of the United Nations in transforming a political principle into a rule of law is considered. Particular attention is given to the content of the right of the right to self-determination as evinced by lengthy debates leading to the adoption of the two international covenants on human rights in 1996. In part II, the current meaning of the "right to self-determination" and its relationship to the process of decolonization are considered. Part III explores whether the right of self-determination includes the possibility of secession, and part IV discuses the link between human rights and the right of self-determination. The conclusion offers a new approach for dealing with self-determination in the post-colonial era.
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