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Spotlight: “International Law of Self-Determination”

    In 2010, the International Court of Justice found that “international law contains no…prohibition of declarations of independence”. (Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010, Section 79).  Germany, France, the United Kingdom , the United States of America, Japan, Norway, and other countries made that same legal argument in Statements they filed in the case. 

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    In examining the history of the issue, the Court noted that “[d]uring the second half of the twentieth century, the international law of self-determination developed in such a way as to create a right to independence for the peoples of non-self-governing territories and peoples subject to alien subjugation, domination, and exploitation.” Id

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    Those who now argue that Catalonia does not have the right of self-determination under international law must address the above legal precedent, and in many cases, try to reconcile their own prior inconsistent positions as well.