The events of recent history affirm the urgent need for a satisfactory definition of the conditions under which a minority within a state has the legal right to secede. Although the concept of sovereignty has been progressively weakened, it still presents the major theoretical difficulty in this area. There is currently no source of international law that would give a legal body like a court the authority to recognize the division of an oppressive or illegitimate state into separate legal entities. This book accordingly argues for a global system of justice based on a domestic model of compulsory law. It considers some of the technical, procedural and evidentiary issues that would arise in instituting such a regime, and develops the conceptual framework essential for the provision of legal remedies for gross violations of our fundamental human rights.
Contents: Introduction; Legitimacy; The legal concept of legitimacy; The historical problem of sovereignty; Solving the historical problem; Existing theories of secession; Institutional and legal issues; Philosophical framework; A legal theory of secession; Practice issues; Conclusion: institutional reform; Select Bibliography; Index.