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Self-determination, national liberation movements and the use of force

Hettiarachchi, Trevona (2007) Self-determination, national liberation movements and the use of force. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The concept of self-determination has with time incrementally evolved from a political principle to an enforceable right at law. The right to self-determination is today considered to be one of the essential principles of contemporary international law. The rapid dissolution of colonialism has not diminished the significance of this right and therefore peoples continue and will continue to make demands to attain self- determination. The need for clarification of the content of the right to self-determination stems essentially from the desire to maintain the, sometimes conflicting, UN principles of peace and justice. Evidently, there is an absence of a coherent set of rules relating to the interaction of the right to self-determination with other international norms. With the global 'War on Terror' being afforded continuous attention, it is imperative that liberation fighters and liberation conflicts are readily distinguishable from terrorists and terrorism. The legitimate cause of the peoples does not automatically legitimate the means and methods utilised. Therefore, there is a need to examine, in particular, the jus ad bellum and the jus in bello applicable when peoples actively pursue their right to self-determination. The purpose of this paper is to observe the interaction between the right to self- determination and other named international law norms. To that end this thesis will examine the use of force and the laws of war provisions that apply in national liberation conflicts. The thesis includes a discussion of the content and scope of the right to self- determination in international law. The recognition of national liberation movements and the consequences of such recognition will also been examined.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Jurisprudence
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:30

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