Eternal Territory? The Crimean Crisis and Ukraine's Territorial Integrity as an Unamendable Principle

30 Pages Posted: 6 May 2015 Last revised: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Yaniv Roznai

Yaniv Roznai

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya - Radzyner School of Law

Silvia Suteu

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: May 5, 2015

Abstract

What is the implication of designating territorial integrity as an "eternal" constitutional principle? This article reflects on the protection of territorial integrity in the Ukrainian constitution, and especially within its provision of unamendability, against the backdrop of the 2014 Crimean crisis. It investigates the aims and limits of territorial integrity as an unamendable principle in the face of a double threat: internal in the form of a secessionist movement and external in the shape of forceful annexation of territory. The article argues that the preservative promise of unamendable territorial integrity is severely curtailed by this double vulnerability, even when backed by a constitutional court with far-reaching powers of judicial review. The article concludes that the uncertainty surrounding territorial change in constitutional law and theory is not alleviated by unamendable protections of territorial integrity.

Keywords: territorial integrity; eternity clauses; secession; entrenchment; unamendability; crimea

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Roznai, Yaniv and Suteu, Silvia, Eternal Territory? The Crimean Crisis and Ukraine's Territorial Integrity as an Unamendable Principle (May 5, 2015). The German Law Journal, Forthcoming; Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2015/15; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602762 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2602762

Yaniv Roznai (Contact Author)

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya - Radzyner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

Silvia Suteu

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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