Territorial Entitlement and Exit Scenarios
Chapter 6 in Law, Territory and Conflict Resolution (M. Nicolini, F. Palermo and E. Milano eds.) Brill, 2016, 105
19 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2016
Date Written: 2016
A number of territorial referendums have been held recently across Europe, perhaps the most significant ones being in Crimea and Scotland. For 2016, an EU-exit referendum has been announced in the United Kingdom. This chapter is concerned with the various exit situations and clarifies the effects of territorial referendums, as well as the nature of territorial entitlement in international law. It argues that territorial entitlement is not absolute and expressions of the will of the people, in principle, do not have self-executing effects. Although the EU is not a state, an exit from this complex legal association poses several questions similar to those that arise under the circumstances of secession. It is argued that solutions to these legal questions should indeed be sought analogously with secessionist scenarios.
Keywords: territorial referendum, EU exit, secession, territorial entitlement
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