By Michael Schoiswohl
This volume contains the first comprehensive study of legal issues arising with regard to the self-declared Republic of Somaliland which, after more than 10 years of factual existence, is still facing international non-recognition. The case of Somaliland, in particular its unique position within the collapsed State of Somalia, challenges current international law doctrine regarding the interplay between non-recognition and the creation of States. Based upon an in-depth analysis of international law concerning the criteria of statehood and recognition, the author presents a legal framework against which cases of secession in the context of collapsed States should be measured. In applying this framework to the case of Somaliland, he demonstrates that the entity has established a sufficient level of peace, stability and effective governance to qualify as a State under international law. Given the legal uncertainty surrounding non-recognized de facto regimes such as Somaliland, the study finally attempts to identify legal rules which bind de facto regimes in the process of secession irrespective of their recognition as a State. Proposing a functional approach to de facto regimes, the author argues that such entities are subject to obligations under international (human rights) law to the extent they are assuming governmental tasks.