Montenegro’s Path to Independence: A Study of Self-Determination, Statehood and Recognition
3 (1) Hanse Law Review (2007)
30 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012
Date Written: 2007
The article compares the dissolution of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) to the transformation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) into the State Union and also refers to the latter’s dissolution. It argues that since these events took place in different political and legal circumstances issues of self-determination, statehood and recognition raised by Montenegro’s secession greatly differed from those raised upon the SFRY’s dissolution, partly induced by the political involvement of the EC/EU. Whereas the SFRY’s right of self-determination in its internal form was rooted in the federalism of the republic and the FRY’s Constitution showed that federalism was continued as a manifestation of internal self-determination, the State Union abandoned federalism. Here, the Constitution actually established a mechanism for secession and thus granted memberstates right of self-determination in its external form. This had neither been possible under the Constitution of the SFRY, where despite the written possibility for external self-determination such a mechanism was lacking and the wording of the Constitution providing for the right to secession was diminished to mere ideological (socialist) rhetoric nor under the Constitution of the FRY where the Constitution did not provide a mechanism for secession at all.
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