Remedial Secession

It is increasingly suggested in literature that a right to unilateral secession, stemming from the right to self-determination of peoples, may arise as ultimum remedium in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. This book examines the conventional content and meaning of the right to self-determination and scrutinizes whether the various sources of international law disclose (traces of) a right to remedial secession.
Author(s):
Simone van den Driest
Series:
Human Rights Research Series
Volume:
61
book | published | 1st edition
April 2013 | xvi + 386 pp.

Paperback
€75.-


ISBN 9781780681535


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Details

It is increasingly often suggested in literature that a right to unilateral secession, stemming from the right to self-determination of peoples, may arise in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. In those extreme circumstances, an alleged right to unilateral secession operates as an ultimum remedium. While such a right to remedial secession may well be morally desirable, the question is to what extent it has actually emerged under contemporary international law.

The right to self-determination of peoples is generally considered to be one of the most fundamental norms in international law. Outside the context of decolonization, the right to self-determination is a continuous right, which is to be exercised primarily within the framework of an existing State. In contrast to this internal dimension of self-determination, claims to external self-determination beyond decolonization are much more controversial, primarily due to their relation with the principle of territorial integrity of States and the fear of the international community to create disrupting precedents.

In seeking to answer the question as to the extent to which a right to remedial secession has emerged under contemporary international law, this book examines the conventional content and meaning of the right to self-determination and scrutinizes whether the various sources of international law disclose (traces of) a right to remedial secession. Assessing the existence of a customary norm in this respect, the international responses to attempts at unilateral secession are examined, paying particular attention to the recent case of Kosovo. It is concluded that while there is a certain body of support for the doctrine of remedial secession, no (customary) right to remedial secession has materialized under contemporary international law. However, in view of the humanization of the international legal order, an entitlement to remedial secession might emerge in the future.


About this book
‘ [a balanced] contribution to a relevant discussion’
FK in Ars Aequi (2014) 233

Chapters

Table of Contents (p. 0)

Chapter I. Introduction (p. 1)

Chapter II. Self-Determination: The Development from Principle to Right (p. 13)

Chapter III. The Contemporary Meaning of the Right to Self-Determination (p. 37)

Chapter IV. Traces of a (Remedial) Right to Unilateral Secession in Contemporary International Law? (p. 97)

Chapter V. Customary International Law: Preliminary Remarks on Assessing the Existence of a Customary Right to Remedial Secession (p. 189)

Chapter VI. A Customary Right to Remedial Secession? (p. 223)

Chapter VII. Recapitulation, Conclusions, and Final Reflections (p. 297)

Samenvatting (p. 321)

Bibliography (p. 339)

Index (p. 373)

Curriculum Vitae (p. 383)

About the series:

Human Rights Research Series

The Human Rights Research Series traces the history and the development of the human rights movement. Through its distinctive interdisciplinary approach, the series provides a powerful insight into recent developments in the field of human rights - their promotion, implementation and monitoring. Anyone directly involved in the definition, study, implementation, monitoring, or enforcement of human rights will find this series an indispensable reference tool.

The world famous Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (formerly School of Human Rights Research) is a joint effort by human rights researchers in the Netherlands. Its central research theme is the nature and meaning of international standards in the field of human rights, their application and promotion in the national legal order, their interplay with national standards, and the international supervision of such application.

Editorial Board of the Series: Prof. dr. J.E. Goldschmidt (Utrecht University), Prof. dr. D.A. Hellema (Utrecht University), Prof. dr. W.J.M. van Genugten (Tilburg University), Prof. dr. F. Coomans (Maastricht University), Prof. dr. P.A.M. Mevis (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Dr.J.-P. Loof (Leiden University) and Dr. O.M. Ribbelink (Asser Institute).

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