Chapter

The Principle of Uti Possidetis Juris

Anne Peters

in Self-Determination and Secession in International Law

Published in print June 2014 | ISBN: 9780198702375
Published online August 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191772139 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702375.003.0006
The Principle of Uti Possidetis Juris

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Uti possidetis can potentially transform any type of internal territorial demarcation that has been established in domestic law prior to secession into an international one once secession has succeeded. Currently, those CIS member states which are affected by secessionist attempts are not constituted as federation-type states with internal domestic administrative boundaries but rather as unitary states. Older administrative lines stemming from the pre-independence era cannot be opposed against the currently existing ‘mother’ states if they are not acknowledged in their domestic law as it stands. Neither does uti possidetis apply on the basis of factual control over a territory in the absence of a formal administrative line. The overall conclusion for the CIS problématique is that breakaway territories cannot lawfully rely on uti possidetis for their case. The real issue in the CIS is whether there should be new boundaries, and not where these should run.

Keywords: uti possidetis juris; secession; boundary; breakaway territory; internal territorial demarcation; factual control over a territory

Chapter.  23070 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law ; Comparative Law

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