Self-Determination of Peoples in the Charter of the United Nations

Petr Kilian

Resumo


This essay analyses the principle of self-determination of peoples as contained in the Charter of the United Nations. Using the traditional methods of treaty interpretation, it argues that the Charter does not in itself guarantee the right to self-determination of specific entities in a particular way. The Charter merely enshrines a legal principle that has subsequently been translated into particular norms by successive treaties and customary law. On the other hand, the Charter does not limit the scope of self-determination to the colonial context or to entire populations of sovereign states. Therefore, and since the principle does not imply independence, self-determination could well be applied to various non-state groups, as has already happened in the case of indigenous peoples.

 


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