The Secession of States and Their Recognition in the Wake of Kosovo


The secession of States is subject to legal regulation. The arguments presented by States in the advisory proceedings on Kosovo confirm that
there are rules of international law that determine whether the secession of a State in the post-colonial world is permissible. These rules derive
from the competing principles of self-determination and territorial integrity. In deciding whether to recognize a secessionist entity as a
State, or to admit it to the United Nations, States must balance these competing principles, with due regard to precedent and State practice.
These lectures examine cases in which secession has succeeded (such as Israel and Bangladesh), in which it has failed (such as Biafra and
Chechnya) and in which a determination is still to be made (Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia).

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John Dugard was professor of law at the universities of Leiden, Cambridge, Pretoria and Witwatersrand. He was a member of the
International Law Commission and was Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He is a member of the Institut de droit international and has served as a judge ad hoc at the International Court of Justice.
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