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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Boundaries and Secession in Africa and International Law: Challenging Uti Possidetis

ISBN13: 9781107117983
Published: December 2015
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £69.99

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This book challenges a central assumption of the international law of territory. The author argues that, contrary to the finding in the Frontier Dispute, uti possidetis is not a general principle of law enjoining states to preserve pre-existing boundaries on state succession.

The book demonstrates that African state practice gave rise to customary rules of intangibility of inherited frontiers and respecting the territorial status quo that, respectively, regulate sovereign territory transfer in Africa on independence and beyond. It explains that those rules changed international law as it relates to Africa in many aspects, including the creation of norms of African jus cogens prohibiting secession and the redrawing of boundaries.

The book examines in depth the phenomenon of secession in Africa, exploring extensive state practice. Finally, it advances a daring argument for a right to egalitarian self-determination, addressing domination in multi-ethnic states, to serve as an exception to the African rule against secession.

Public International Law, Other Jurisdictions , Africa

Part I. The African Territorial Regime:
1. The Frontier Dispute case and applying uti possidetis to Africa
2. The rule of intangibility of inherited frontiers
3. The conventional obligation to respect the territorial status quo
4. The customary rule of respecting the territorial status quo
5. The changes made in international law by the African custom

Part II. Towards an Exception to the African Rule Against Secession:
6. Current justifications for secession in Africa
7. Domination as a possible instance for a right to external self-determination
8. Towards a right to egalitarian self-determination
9. Conclusion.