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Dokdo, Colonialism, And International Law: Lessons From The Decision Of The ICJ In The Land And Maritime Dispute Between Cameroon And Nigeria

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Chapter Summary

The October 2002 decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the contentious case between Cameroon and Nigeria is the face of it, adecision in respect of an inter-state territorial dispute. This chapter argues that in the circumstances of the case, colonialism was on trial. It situates the discourse within the specific context of the Dokdo issue, given its colonial antecedents, and, inter alia, underscores the imperative of critical legal scholarship that interrogates the colonial enterprise, with a view to purging international law of its colonial vestiges. The chapter addresses some critical questions: Is Japan at liberty to invoke international law norms that predominated in the colonial era and in respect of which the Republic of Korea could not, on account of its colonial status, make any meaningful input in its formation or crystallization? Should intertemporal law be invoked where it would lead to an absurd and monstrous result?.

Keywords: Cameroon; Colonialism; Dokdo; inter-state territorial dispute; International Court of Justice (ICJ); International Law; Japan; Nigeria



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