Status and (Human Rights) Obligations of Non-Recognized de Facto Regimes in International Law: The Case of 'Somaliland' : The Resurrection of Somaliland against All International 'Odds' : State Collapse, Secession, Non-Recognition, and Human Righ Ts

Status and (Human Rights) Obligations of Non-Recognized de Facto Regimes in International Law: The Case of 'Somaliland' : The Resurrection of Somaliland against All International 'Odds' : State Collapse, Secession, Non-Recognition, and Human Righ Ts

Status and (Human Rights) Obligations of Non-Recognized de Facto Regimes in International Law: The Case of 'Somaliland' : The Resurrection of Somaliland against All International 'Odds' : State Collapse, Secession, Non-Recognition, and Human Righ Ts

Status and (Human Rights) Obligations of Non-Recognized de Facto Regimes in International Law: The Case of 'Somaliland' : The Resurrection of Somaliland against All International 'Odds' : State Collapse, Secession, Non-Recognition, and Human Righ Ts

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

The present work attempts to draw attention to the perceived 'statelessness' of an entity, which declared itself independent from a chaotic Somalia more than 10 years ago. Since then, this entity which calls itself 'Somaliland', has had to face the destructive seeds of its past, civil war and international reluctance to take account of its existence.

The case of Somaliland raises some fundamental questions with respect to the relationship between secession, creation of States and (non-) recognition. It particularly addresses the question of whether a secessionist entity can achieve statehood despite a clear international policy of non-recognition. In search for proper answers, however, it will soon become evident that the case of Somaliland is more than yet another attempted (unilateral) secession to be measured against the 'traditional' international rules governing the creation of States and their recognition. The peculiar circumstances surrounding the emergence of Somaliland, most importantly the context of a collapsed 'parent' State (Somalia), rather seem to necessitate their thorough re-assessment.

It will thus be the primary objective of this project to evaluate which 'status' Somaliland currently has under international law, in particular whether it theoretically could be regarded as having obtained statehood notwithstanding the lack of international recognition. To this end, it will foremost be necessary to outline the 'traditional' doctrinal framework under international law with respect to the State recognition and secession. However, in view of the peculiar context of a collapsed 'parent' State it will – as a secondary objective – be necessary to develop a somewhat refined doctrinal framework applicable to instances of secessions occurring within States, which for an extended period of time have virtually ceased to function or even exist. In the latter respect, it is well conceivable that the case of Somaliland could – as a 'precedent' – eventually introduce a novel dynamic into the rather fossilized discussion revolving around secession and the law of State recognition. Consequently, before assessing the case of Somaliland it will be attempted in Part I to generate a theory of secession applicable to the context of collapsed 'parent' States. Subsequendy, Part II will attempt to measure the case of Somaliland against this doctrinal framework.

However, it will soon become evident that a doctrinal focus on whether Somaliland has achieved statehood or not will hardly bear any practical relevance and remain somewhat theoretic in nature. On a more pragmatic level . . .

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