Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


NedZad Basic


This paper considers how the international legal system may be reconstructed through the introduction of new legal relationships among these principles of international law to encourage different ethnic and religious communities, which rely on the principle of self-determination, and central governments, which invokes the principle of territorial integrity of its state, to make rational choices that will reduce the likelihood of minority/government conflict in the future. Sub-national groups understand self-determination of peoples to include the right of secession which threatens the territorial integrity of a state, while the territorial integrity of a state prohibits self-determination to be understood as statehood. Since the principles of international law, self-determination of peoples and integrity of states have equal international status, this creates legal confusion in political relations, and constrains participants, ethnic groups, and central governments from focusing on primary goals: secession and protection of states' territorial integrity.