Identity Conflicts and Secession Before Courts: Three Case Studies
Revista General de Derecho Público Comparado, 21 (2017), 1-30
30 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2019
Date Written: June 28, 2017
The recent revival of secessionist movements in Europe and elsewhere has definitely given new lifeblood to a long-standing debate, gathering the attention of scholars from all around the world. This paper aims to explore how courts cope with identity questions and secession in federal and regional contexts. While Abat Ninet and Gardner argued that distinctive identity claims have traditionally received a “hostile treatment… in constitutional courts”, this article suggests a different conclusion. Without denying or neglecting the political side of these phenomena, this paper maintains that secession and identity questions also present legal aspects, and courts have devised a set of techniques in order to cope with them. While exploring these techniques, this piece will develop a comparative exercise, looking at three different jurisdictions.
Keywords: Identity, Secession, Federalism, Regionalism, Courts
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