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On the Borders of Justice: an Examination and Possible Solution to the Doctrine of Uti Possidetis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter briefly examines the conflict between the right of self-determination and sovereignty. The conflict between self-determination and sovereignty rests on the question, what is the extent to which the right of self-determination grants a "people" the ability to control territory in a fashion that may conflict with a pre-existing state's sovereignty over that same territory. The chapter analyzes the history, the successes and failures of uti possidetis in governing the borders of emerging states. The current application of the doctrine is tied to its historical development: its origin in Roman property law, its emergence in international law during decolonization in Latin America, its use during the post-World War II decolonization of Africa, and its application in Eastern Europe as new states emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The chapter provides possible solutions to the shortcomings in governing the borders of emerging states.

Keywords: international law; Roman property law; self-determination; sovereignty; uti possidetis

10.1163/ej.9789004165717.i-912.46
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004165717.i-912.46
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