The Sound of One Hand Clapping: Unilateral Declarations of Independence in International Law

Kassoti, Eva
April 2016
German Law Journal;Apr2016, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p215
Academic Journal
In light of the uncertainty surrounding recent unilateral declarations of independence, this Article purports to re-visit the question of their legal nature under international law. The Article shows that the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) judgment in the Kosovo advisory opinion (hereafter referred to as the Kosovo Opinion) is of little assistance in establishing whether and to what extent such declarations fall within the ambit of international law. The Article proceeds to examine claims that unilateral declarations of independence are regulated-entirely or partly-by international law and argues that these claims are illfounded on multiple grounds. The Article asserts that international law is legally neutral towards the claims-a proposition in accord with both the factual nature of the process of state formation in international law and with the relevant practice.


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