A New Framework
Chapter 6: Attempted secessions
This chapter analyzes cases of attempted secession, starting with the åaland Islands in the 1920s, through Quebec’s attempted secession from Canada, to the recent examples of Scotland and Catalonia. It examines whether in these instances secession failed because of a fulfillment of the right to internal self-determination for the secessionist entity, and under what differing circumstances these secessionist entities might accrue the right to external self-determination, leading to remedial secession. The chapter concludes that the right to self-determination does not lead to the right to secession and that, under extreme circumstances of oppression, the right to self-determination may justify the exercise of remedial secession by the abused people. However, the corollary to this is true—that peoples whose rights to internal autonomy and self-determination are respected by their mother states, as in the case of the åaland Islanders, Quebecois, Scots and Catalans, do not have the right to secede under international law.
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