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Self-Determination and Secession in International Law$
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Christian Walter, Antje von Ungern-Sternberg, and Kavus Abushov

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702375.001.0001

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(p.191) 10 Abkhazia
Self-Determination and Secession in International Law

Farhad Mirzayev

Oxford University Press

The paper covers research on the correlation of the principles of uti possidetis juris and self-determination in the case of Abkhazia. It argues that under the principle of uti possidetis, the former administrative borders of the Georgian SSR have been transformed into the international boundaries of the independent Georgia, and that Abkhazia, having been part of the Georgian SSR, the predecessor entity, should be considered an integral part of Georgia. The paper refers to various legal arguments and regional and international legal instruments, including internal legislation of the USSR. Analysis of the legality of Abkhaz separatists’ claims to secession under international law is also introduced herein. The chapter also considers the issues of third-state factors and their role in the Abkhaz conflict.

Keywords:   Abkhazia, Georgia, principle of uti possidetis juris, international law, administrative borders, international boundaries, self-determination, secession, Russia, third-state factor

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