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Secession in International Law

A New Framework

Milena Sterio

Secession in International Law argues that the effective development of criteria on secession is a necessity in today’s world, because secessionist struggles can be analyzed through the legal lens only if we have specific legal rules to apply. Without legal rules, secessionist struggles are dominated by politics and sui generis approaches, which validate secessionist attempts based on geo-politics and regional states’ self-interest, as opposed to the law. By using a truly comparative approach, Milena Sterio has developed a normative international law framework on secession, which focuses on several factors to assess the legitimacy of a separatist quest.
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Chapter 4: Historically remote secessions

Milena Sterio

Extract

This chapter examines historically remote secessions, including those of Bangladesh, Eritrea, and East Timor. For each of these cases, the chapter discusses the history of the secessionist entity, including its relationship with a former colonizer and/or mother state. Moreover, the chapter discusses whether these cases of secession entailed the right of self-determination, and how the international community viewed and accepted these secessions. The chapter concludes that these cases of secession do not necessarily support the argument that secession is a legal right in international law and that instead, they entail the exercise of self-determination rights and/or sui generis cases justified by special circumstances.

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