How Does the International Community Reconcile the Principles of Territorial Integrity and Self-Determination? The Case of Crimea


https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2016-4-1-61-97

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Abstract

This paper explores the ambiguous nature of two principles of international law – self-determination and territorial integrity – illustrating the controversial nuances of international law on a political level, nuances with which the Crimean crisis has been described. Multiple paradigms will be applied to interpret the juristic status of the quoted principles. The foundation of this research is the collision between Russia and the West over the legal interpretation of these two principles throughout history and particularly in the case of Crimea. From the very beginning, the legal interpretation of the situation in Crimea was that Russia’s legal rhetoric was groundless and that her legal justification for the secession of Crimea was simply not plausible, and therefore could not be linked to either legal or moral theories. After exposing the fragility of these principles in international law, the paper then concludes by proposing an alternative approach that utilizes a different philosophical logic, thus further illustrating the hidden nature of such contradictions in politics.

About the Author

Khazar Shirmammadov
University of Birmingham
United Kingdom

M.A. in International Relations (Diplomacy),

453 Watford Way, London, NW4 4TR



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Supplementary files

For citation: Shirmammadov K. How Does the International Community Reconcile the Principles of Territorial Integrity and Self-Determination? The Case of Crimea. Russian Law Journal. 2016;4(1):61-97. https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2016-4-1-61-97

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