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The Declaration of Independence, the Advisory Opinion and Implications for Statehood, Self-Determination and Minority Rights
Editor: James Summers
Kosovo’s declaration of independence on 17 February 2008 has had a profound and polarising impact on international relations. While over a third of the world’s countries have recognised Kosovo, others have been concerned that it sets a precedent for secessionist minorities. Indeed, Kosovo appears to have been used as a precedent in the Russia-Georgia conflict over South Ossetia. The book brings together contributions from leading academics on the legal aspects of Kosovo and, in particular, the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion of 2010. The result is an extensive examination from a variety of experts on Kosovo and its impact on international law.
Author: James Summers
Peoples and International Law is a detailed survey of the law of self-determination with a focus on the concept of nations and peoples. It engages with different aspects of this law with particular emphasis on the drafting and implementation of international instruments. The second edition includes new coverage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the African and Arab charters. It considers recent practice by the Human Rights Committee, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights dealing with the emerging political, economic and environmental aspects of the right. The book looks at the interaction of international law, nationalism and liberalism in theories of nationhood and self-determination, as well as, the historical development of the right and the decisions of international bodies. Lastly, it examines practice in this area, including new developments in remedial independence and international territorial administration.

Also available in hardback.
Author: James Summers

Abstract

The right of peoples to self-determination occupies a prominent position in a number of key international instruments, like the Human Rights Covenants and the United Nations Charter. Yet, despite this, many questions remain about the right in international law. This article is an analysis of the right which will look at its language in relation to its practical application. Its focus is on self-determination as a rhetoric, which, it is argued, is used to legitimize political activities by presenting those activities in terms of peoples and their self-realization. It will be further argued that as political rhetoric self-determination is most likely to be invoked in the institutions that direct and provide a focus for political life. This produces the paradox in the right. Although the rhetoric of self-determination suggests that peoples and their characteristics provide the basis for political institutions, the right, in fact, seems to be shaped in large part by those institutions. This, in turn, has important implications for how self-determination should be looked at in relation to other legal principles.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: James Summers

This article explores how property rights have informed the peoples’ right to resources in Article 1(2) of the Human Rights Covenants. It examines practice in the interpretation of Article 1, as well as jurisprudence from the Inter-American and African human rights systems linking peoples’ rights and the right to property. It also highlights the pivotal role of protection of subsistence in making this connection. The right to resources can draw from different forms of property, including private, public, communal and traditional forms. Property rights under Article 1 have also applied to a broad range of communities, including indigenous peoples, subsistence farmers, traditional property owners, ethnic minorities, as well as the general population of a state. The common feature of these communities is their vulnerability in the protection of their means of subsistence, and this has linked property rights with Article 1.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
In: Kosovo: A Precedent?