The annexation of crimea and the boundaries of the will of the people

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The secession of crimea and—more broadly—the conflict in ukraine reopened questions concerning the limits of a democratic expression of the will of the people and the use of force in order to procure annexation of a territory belonging to another state. This article seeks to clarify the law governing the change of the legal status of a territory through secession and merger with another state. It argues not only that the right of self-determination does not grant an entitlement to alter the legal status of a territory, but also that general international law does not prohibit such an alteration. The rules of international law favor the stability of the existing international borders and thus the territorial status quo, but this does not mean that a unilateral attempt at altering an existing territorial arrangement automatically constitutes an internationally wrongful act. Any change of the legal status of a territory becomes illegal, however, upon an outside use of force. Such an illegality cannot be “cured” by a democratically expressed will of the people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-383
JournalGerman Law Journal
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Cite this

@article{03e08297edf744e9a73eb2484d5f95a4,
title = "The annexation of crimea and the boundaries of the will of the people",
abstract = "The secession of crimea and—more broadly—the conflict in ukraine reopened questions concerning the limits of a democratic expression of the will of the people and the use of force in order to procure annexation of a territory belonging to another state. This article seeks to clarify the law governing the change of the legal status of a territory through secession and merger with another state. It argues not only that the right of self-determination does not grant an entitlement to alter the legal status of a territory, but also that general international law does not prohibit such an alteration. The rules of international law favor the stability of the existing international borders and thus the territorial status quo, but this does not mean that a unilateral attempt at altering an existing territorial arrangement automatically constitutes an internationally wrongful act. Any change of the legal status of a territory becomes illegal, however, upon an outside use of force. Such an illegality cannot be “cured” by a democratically expressed will of the people.",
author = "J. Vidmar",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S2071832200020903",
language = "English",
volume = "16",
pages = "365--383",
journal = "German Law Journal",
issn = "2071-8322",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "3",

}

The annexation of crimea and the boundaries of the will of the people. / Vidmar, J.

In: German Law Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3, 01.01.2015, p. 365-383.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The annexation of crimea and the boundaries of the will of the people

AU - Vidmar, J.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - The secession of crimea and—more broadly—the conflict in ukraine reopened questions concerning the limits of a democratic expression of the will of the people and the use of force in order to procure annexation of a territory belonging to another state. This article seeks to clarify the law governing the change of the legal status of a territory through secession and merger with another state. It argues not only that the right of self-determination does not grant an entitlement to alter the legal status of a territory, but also that general international law does not prohibit such an alteration. The rules of international law favor the stability of the existing international borders and thus the territorial status quo, but this does not mean that a unilateral attempt at altering an existing territorial arrangement automatically constitutes an internationally wrongful act. Any change of the legal status of a territory becomes illegal, however, upon an outside use of force. Such an illegality cannot be “cured” by a democratically expressed will of the people.

AB - The secession of crimea and—more broadly—the conflict in ukraine reopened questions concerning the limits of a democratic expression of the will of the people and the use of force in order to procure annexation of a territory belonging to another state. This article seeks to clarify the law governing the change of the legal status of a territory through secession and merger with another state. It argues not only that the right of self-determination does not grant an entitlement to alter the legal status of a territory, but also that general international law does not prohibit such an alteration. The rules of international law favor the stability of the existing international borders and thus the territorial status quo, but this does not mean that a unilateral attempt at altering an existing territorial arrangement automatically constitutes an internationally wrongful act. Any change of the legal status of a territory becomes illegal, however, upon an outside use of force. Such an illegality cannot be “cured” by a democratically expressed will of the people.

U2 - 10.1017/S2071832200020903

DO - 10.1017/S2071832200020903

M3 - Article

VL - 16

SP - 365

EP - 383

JO - German Law Journal

JF - German Law Journal

SN - 2071-8322

IS - 3

ER -