Friday, February 17, 2006

Self-determination of peoples - Comments by Ms Fozia Lone

Fozia Lone is a Doctoral Research Student at School of Law, University of Aberdeen, Fozia comes from Indian administered Kashmir region.

Dear Jernej, I generally agree with what you have mentioned especially your argument that other circumstances in which right to self-determination can be used must be developed, is persuasive. However, as has been mentioned that violation of human rights gives the right to exercise external self-determination is equally correct. In Bangladesh case it was the fact of repression rather then the fact that Bengalis were linguistically, ethnically and culturally different from Pakistanis, which ultimately vindicated the creation of Bangladesh as an independent state.

On the other hand Srdjan, comment that right to self-determination is disappearing from the vocabulary of the major political actors involved in the Kosovo crisis seems to be sound. However, Srdjan seems to ignore the fact that this notion of right to self-determination still exists in international law although is accompanied by the confusion as to its beneficiaries. Politicians, especially of countries who are caught in this identity crisis, generate a lot of this mystification. It is because politicians usually take contextual approach that suits them while discussing this concept and forget about its legal side. Additional problem has been caused by the ineffective drive to identify â€کpeople’ in international law, particularly in the post-colonial period. Further uncertainty crops up when the concept of right to self-determination is discussed in relation with other equally unclear notions like territorial integrity, derogation, and secession. This right has also suffered by the bewildering state practice, contradictory resolutions from international organisation, treaty laws that are poorly drafted without defining the central entity- â€کpeople’ and by the uncommunicative views of the courts.

While inquiring into the past parameters of self-determination it may appears that self-determination is only for decolonised people or non-self-governing states as pointed by Jernej. But how can we ignore the up and coming crises like Kosovo, Kashmir and Palestine, which need immediate indulgence. We cannot simply consent to let people suffer just because there is no international law that can be applied on them. Law has to change with the shifting time and same applies on the right to self-determination. Although there is no shortage of literature on various dimensions of self-determination but surprisingly enough there is the bizarre deficiency of wide-ranging legal narrative of this concept. This vacuum can be filled if this concept will be amending or clarified within international law otherwise it can soon be the â€کdead letter of past’. Therefore the time has arrived to make efforts to rotate this concept in a direction within international law so that International peace can be protected.


At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree with whatever you have said and really feel that there is an urgent need to make changes in this principle and that is only possible if acedamics like you would make honest efforts.

God bless you.


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