This chapter introduces the international law framework applicable to territorial disputes and provides an overview of the entire content of the book. Starting with a definition of the terms that delimit the field of the present inquiry, Marcelo G. Kohen and Mamadou Hébié explore important cornerstones of the law applicable to territorial disputes. Thus, the authors proposes a method for analysing territorial disputes, before addressing the impact of the fundamental principles of international law on the settlement of territorial disputes. Among these principles, the authors assess the relevance of the principle of territorial integrity, of the right of peoples to self-determination and of the prohibition of the use of force. Finally, the authors explore the legal significance of technical rules of international law, such as the intertemporal law principle, the critical date and the rules governing evidence, in the assessment of territorial claims.
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