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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. 


    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


    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.