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X. Balancing Self-Determination Claims

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Chapter Summary

The balancing of self-determination claims is an innovative way of overcoming the mutually exclusive positions of both sides in a selfdetermination conflict. Essentially, balancing allows both sides to claim that their view has prevailed, and that their legal position has been preserved in the settlement. This is the secret of the success of the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland. The agreement starts by recognising the self-determination dimension and its application to the case of Ireland and Northern Ireland. While previously the United Kingdom had indicated less formally that it would comply with the wish of the population of Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland should this be made manifest in a referendum in the North, this has now been made express.

Keywords: Northern Ireland; Republic of Ireland; self-determination claims; United Kingdom

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