The Secession of Crimea: Where Does International Law Stand?

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Majid Nikouei University of Shahid Beheshti, Iran

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Masoud Zamani Islamic Azad University of Najafabad, Iran

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There is more legal complexity to the secession of Crimea than meets the eye upon the first encounter with the 2014–2015 crisis of Ukraine. The secession of Crimea calls into question the traditional configuration of the right to self-determination. The question of Crimea is compounded when, in discerning the legality of some of the key issues linked to it, one must pay regard to the standards of both international law and national law. In other words, a constructive analysis of the secession of Crimea must delve into the national law standards of Ukraine, whilst simultaneously analysing the effect of observing or otherwise ignoring those standards as for the legality of secession therein from the perspective of international law. With a view to this complexity, this essay aims to combine some of the most controversial dimensions to the secession of Crimea in one piece, and clarify whether the case of Crimea can in any way be justified by the rules of international law on self-determination.

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