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The Creation of States in International Law$
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James R. Crawford

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228423.001.0001

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(p.374) Chapter 9 Secession
The Creation of States in International Law


Oxford University Press

Until 1914, secession — which may be defined as the creation of a State by the use or threat of force without the consent of the former sovereign — was the most conspicuous and probably the most common method of the creation of new States. In the period since 1919, new States have been more often created with the consent of the former sovereign, especially in course of decolonisation. But attempts at secession have been frequent and some of these have succeeded, in particular Indonesia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Bangladesh, Guinea-Bissau, and Eritrea. Certain questions arise specifically in relation to secession, in particular, the application of the criteria for statehood to situations where statehood is disputed by the previous sovereign; the relation between third State recognition and status; the legality of secession in modern international law; and the legal incidents of the process by which a seceding unit attains international status.

Keywords:   statehood, secession, recognition, independence, international law, decolonisation, Indonesia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Bangladesh

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