Neutrality of International Law Towards Secession: An Old-Fashioned Story or the Beginning of a New Chapter?
24 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 29, 2017
The paper seeks to explore the boundaries of the concept of neutrality of international law towards secession. It argues that a reinterpretation of the neutral approach is possible. On this basis, the paper suggests that the relationship between secession and self-determination could be reinterpreted as well. An empirical approach is adopted, choosing the cases of Catalonia, Scotland and Crimea. Although very different in nature, the paper takes advantage of some common features of these cases to suggest that (i) international law might be setting some guidelines about the process leading to secession and (ii) the current understanding of the right to self-determination should be disentangled from that of a potential right to secede.
Keywords: secession; self-determination; democracy; Scotland, Catalonia; Crimea
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