'The Consciousness of Duty Done'? British Attitudes Towards Self-Determination and the Case of Sudan

Forthcoming, British Yearbook of International Law

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 8/2019

49 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2019 Last revised: 23 Feb 2019

See all articles by Orfeas Chasapis Tassinis

Orfeas Chasapis Tassinis

University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Sarah Nouwen

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2019

Abstract

According to the dominant narrative, the right of self-determination became relevant as a matter of law only after the 1960s or even only in the early 1970s. However, by reviving a seemingly forgotten episode in the legal history of self- determination, this article shows that during the UN Security Council’s second year of operation, in 1947, the United Kingdom invoked the right of self-determination of another people, the Sudanese, as their legal entitlement in its effort to counter Egyptian claims on the Sudan. Giving a strong voice to primary sources, this article narrates how British officials in the Sudan managed to promote in London the idea of Sudanese self-determination, even if only to serve, not challenge their own colonial power and behaviour. They were so successful in doing this that the British Government, despite the UK’s strategic and colonial interests, ultimately invoked self-determination as part of its legal argumentation in the Security Council.

Keywords: Self-determination, Sudan, Egypt, United Kingdom, UN Security Council, legal history

Suggested Citation

Chasapis Tassinis, Orfeas and Nouwen, Sarah Maria Heiltjen, 'The Consciousness of Duty Done'? British Attitudes Towards Self-Determination and the Case of Sudan (February 1, 2019). Forthcoming, British Yearbook of International Law; University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 8/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3333047 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3333047

Orfeas Chasapis Tassinis

University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law ( email )

Cambridge
United Kingdom

Sarah Maria Heiltjen Nouwen (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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