Determining Boundaries in a Conflicted World: The Role of Uti Possidetis
In 1992, when Yugoslavia was on the point of disintegration, the Badinter Commission recommended that the issue of its boundaries be resolved according to the principle of uti possidetis: the internal boundaries dividing the former Yugoslav Republics should automatically become the international boundaries of the new states. Elated by what seemed a clear and workable solution to an impossible problem, the international community proceeded to impose the "binding" principle of uti possidetis on all the parties involved. Relying on the Badinter interpretation of uti possidetis, five experts in international law have assured the Quebec government that in the event of separation from Canada, Quebec could assume legal entitlement under international law of its existing boundaries. In Determining Boundaries in a Conflicted World Suzanne Lalonde examines the origins of the uti possidetis principle, its evolution and colonial roots as well as more recent applications, to determine whether it merits the overriding importance now attributed to it.
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Aaland Islands accepted according administrative lines adopted African agreement American republics application Arbitration Commission aries Article Audiencia Badinter Badinter Commission basis bfsp Bolivia borders boundary disputes boundary line Britain British Brownlie Charter claims Colombia colonial commission's conclusion Conference Constitution context Convention Council Croatia December Declaration decolonization defined delimitation determination doctrine droit Egypt emphasis added entities established European existing experts federal Finland Finnish French Frontier Dispute Guatemala Ibid icj Reports independence interdict international boundaries International Court international law interpretation issue jurists Kohen Latin American opinion Ottoman Palestine parties Peru political possession possidetis juris principle practice principle of international principle of uti Province Quebec question rapporteurs recognized reference resolution respect right of self-determination rule secession self-determination Semakh Serbia sfry Shaw situation Slovenia sovereign sovereignty Spanish stability statehood status quo territorial integrity tion tional translation Treaty of Peace Tribunal unilateral uti possidetis juris uti possidetis principle Venezuela Yugoslav Yugoslavia