Secession, terrorism and the right of self-determination

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national law, has been support by some governments for the legitimacy of the use of force by peoples subjected to oppressive regimes. This support has extended into the negotiation of international treaties aimed at defining terrorist acts as crimes, and determining forms of international co-operation to punish such crimes. A clear illustration of such support can be found in the Convention of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Combating International Terrorism of 1999: Article 2(a) Peoples' struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination in accordance with the principles of international law shall not be considered a terrorist crime. This definition of what is not a terrorist crime, of course only applies in the context of this particular Convention, but other non-universal Conventions include similar exclusions. Consider the 1999 OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism 1999: Article 3(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 1, the struggle waged by peoples in accordance with the principles of international law for their liberation or self-determination, including armed struggle against colonialism, occupation, aggression and domination by foreign forces shall not be considered as terrorist acts. Lastly, consider also Article 2 of the Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism 1998: All cases of struggle by whatever means, including armed struggle, against foreign occupation and aggression for liberation and self-determination, in accordance with the principles of international law, shall not be regarded as an offence.

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In this chapter secession is considered in the context of self-determination conflicts. This chapter begins with a review of the historical evolution of self-determination. The historical review has demonstrated that, despite its entry into the international legal system, the inherent uncertainty about self-determination remains glaring: the holder and the content of the right to self-determination remain controversial, the territorial perspective and the human rights perspective of self-determination are not always clearly distinguished, tension might arise between the principle of self-determination and the principle of territorial sovereignty, and the right to self-determination is open to abuse particularly in the sense of remedial secession. Therefore, it is clear that a wide gap exists between theory and reality in respect of self-determination, and this gap itself contributes to secessionist self-determination conflicts. For the sake of conflict settlement, it is necessary to close the gap between theory and reality by improving the inadequate legal framework, which should entail the following points: reasonably defining the holder of a right to self-determination, distinguishing the territorial perspective and the human rights perspective of self-determination, correctly understanding the interrelation between territorial sovereignty and self-determination, and preventing abuse of the right to self-determination. When secessionists and non-secessionists can conclude an agreement, all these points can be well-managed, so external actors should make positive contributions to the conclusion of such agreements for the sake of the effective settlement of secessionist conflicts.
Este trabajo analiza las teorías democráticas o plebiscitarias de la autodeterminación y secesión. En primer lugar se exponen las versiones de distintos autores defensores de tales teorías con la finalidad de captar cuanto les es común, el consentimiento individual como fundamento del ‘derecho moral’ a la autodeterminación y secesión, y las diferencias, es decir, las condiciones, notablemente distintas, que cada autor exige para el ejercicio de tal derecho. En segundo lugar se recoge el análisis crítico que buena parte de la doctrina y el propio autor del trabajo hacen de la teoría democrática. Las conclusiones destacan, de manera especial, la debilidad de tales teorías desde el punto de vista teórico y metodológico.
This book is highly topical considering the recent resurgence of violence by the PKK, the incursions into Northern Iraq by the Turkish army and security forces and Turkey's EU accession negotiations. Turkey has become an increasingly important player in Middle Eastern geopolitics. More than two decades of serious conflict in Turkey are proving to be a barrier to improved relations between Turkey and the EU. This book is the first study to fully address the legal and political dimensions of the conflict, and their impact on mechanisms for conflict resolution in the region, offering a scholarly exploration of a debate that is often politically and emotionally highly charged. Kerim Yildiz and Susan Breau look at the practical application of the law of armed conflicts to the ongoing situation in Turkey and Northern Iraq. The application of the law in this region also means addressing larger questions in international law, global politics and conflict resolution. Examples include belligerency in international law, whether the 'War on Terror' has resulted in changes to the law of armed conflict and terrorism and conflict resolution. The Kurdish Conflict explores the practical possibilities of conflict resolution in the region, examining the political dynamics of the region, and suggesting where lessons can be drawn from other peace processes, such as in Northern Ireland. This book will be of great value to policy-makers, regional experts, and others interested in international humanitarian law and conflict resolution.
Since the formation of the UN in 1945 the international community has witnessed a number of violent self-determination conflicts such as the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Kashmir, and South Sudan that have been a major cause of humanitarian crises and destruction. This book examines the scope and applicability of political self-determination beyond the decolonisation process. Explaining the historical evolution of self-determination, this book provides a theoretical examination of the concept and background. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the author analyses self-determination in relation to contemporary conflicts, which inform and drive a coherent theoretical framework for international responses to claims for self-determination. Built upon an examination of the conceptual foundations of self-determination, this book presents a new understanding and application of self-determination. It addresses the important question of whether self-determination claims legitimate armed violence, either by the self-determining group's right to rebel, or by the international community in the form of humanitarian intervention. The Politics of Self-Determination will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, international relations, security studies and conflict studies.
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In this article I seek to identify and explore some of the legal consequences that flow from the various normative levels that have been ascribed to the right of self-determination in international legal doctrine. Four normative levels are considered: human right, association with sovereignty, erga omnes and jus cogens. A particular focus of the article is on how the doctrinal debate surrounding each normative level might impact on the willingness of states to help improve the determinacy of the scope and content of the right. I argue that there is a haziness surrounding the normative status of the right to self-determination and that this can help to explain the reluctance of states to publicise their views on the scope and content of the norm in international law. The article concludes with suggestions as to how a clearer understanding of the normative status of the right to self-determination might be achieved.
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