The Establishment of the Legal Right to Self-Determination1

Malcolm Shaw

in Title to Territory in Africa

Published in print March 1986 | ISBN: 9780198253792
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681424 | DOI:
The Establishment of the Legal Right to Self-Determination1

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The principle of self-determination was introduced in the French Revolution at the close of the eighteenth century, with its proclamations of human rights and popular sovereignty. Its blend of nationalism and democracy greatly influenced the political development of Europe and produced the concept of self-determination. Self-determination is the capacity of a nation to determine its own political structure afforded by the new theory of sovereignty – the democracy. This chapter discusses the establishment and development of self-determination from a mere principle to a full legal right exercised by nations as interpreted in the Charter, wherein the establishment of the principle of self-determination to a legal right was a product of the subsequent developments in the UN Charter. Chapter 2 also includes topics on Charter interpretation and the customary international law.

Keywords: self-determination; sovereignty; legal right; Charter; Charter interpretation; customary law

Chapter.  14040 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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