From External to the Internal Application of the Right to Self-Determination: The Case of Nepal

in International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
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Even until a few decades ago, international law and its principles could hardly be contemplated as playing catalytic roles in fashioning the rights of people at domestic levels. Today a number of international instruments do not only constitute the rights of people, but also people are giving much prominence to rights enshrined in international law and demanding their implementation at domestic levels. In this context, Nepal presents a noteworthy case, especially in regard to the protection and promotion of the rights of minority groups, ethnic groups, and indigenous people at the domestic level in consonance with international laws related to the rights of self-determination. Against this background, this paper examines the issue of the right to self-determination, its external and internal application, its epistemology, and problems associated with its implementation in the context of state restructuring in the post-conflict period of Nepal.




Steinerte and Wallace,supra note 1, p. 60. The authors claim that in the Western Sahara case “[t]he ICJ made it clear that as evidenced by the great variety of the diversity of state forms around the world, there is no prescribed rule as to what pattern of state structure an entity should follow”.


Cassese,supra note 11, p. 16.


Xanthaki, supra note 24, location 1734.


Xanthaki, supra note 24, location 2900.


Cassese, supra note 11, p. 59.


Cassese,supra note 11, p. 61.


Sen,supra note 66; see also A. Sen, Commodities and Capabilities (Oxford University Press, 1999); M. Nussbaum and A. Sen (eds.), The Quality of Life (Oxford University Press, 1993).


Prasad, supra note 74. Jayant Prasad also refers to the observation of Jawaharlal Nehru, who wrote: “… Nepal was the only truly independent nation of South Asia. And, as the day of India’s independence drew closer, the national leaders became convinced that India could not possibly attain its true potential without effective direction being provided by a strong central government.”



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