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[Editorial Note, Legal Implications Resulting from State Failure in Light of the Case of Somalia]

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[, State failure, the implosion of effective government, has even led to the emergence of a state totally lacking government, Somalia from 1991 through 2000, the failed state par excellence.As the existence of a state with no government has not been foreseen by international law, this inquiry seeks to sketch, by exploring, analyzing and discussing the case of Somalia and studying rules of international law,a pattern of legal consequences caused by its failure. Though focused on Somalia, the only contemporary example of complete state collapse, the study is conducted in comparison with states, which are undergoing lesser degrees of failure ('failing states'), addressing thus some of the legal consequences of the phenomenon also in a broader framework. The inquiry indicates that while the rights and duties of failing states appear to remain generally unaffected by temporary problems of governance, complete state collapse, by contrast, has far-reaching legal implications. Most notably, without a representative authority the state becomes incapable of acting as a subject of international law, and consequently,absent in the international sphere. Without alternative models for international representation, this entails the exclusion of the people of the failed state from international interaction. Furthermore, the analysis identifies a number of difficulties related to both applying the existing and formulating new rules of international law with regard to failed states, because the phenomenon touches upon the state institution itself, the core of international law.]


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