(in international law) The right of a people living within a non‐self‐governing territory to choose for themselves the political and legal status of that territory. They may choose independence and the formation of a separate state, integration into another state, or association with an independent state, with autonomy in internal affairs. The systems of mandates and trusteeship marked a step towards recognizing a legal right of self‐determination, but it is not yet completely recognized as a legal norm. It is probably illegal for another state to intervene against a liberation movement and it may be legal to give assistance to such a movement. See also erga omnes obligations.
Subjects: International Law.