This piece provides critical analysis of some of the broader consequences of what is potentially suggested by certain findings in the 2010 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on ‘Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Respect of Kosovo’. The focus is on consequences for disputes generally, and disputes relating to self-determination and secession in particular, in either case including disputes that have been made subject to a Security Council-imposed settlement process. In the first place, the piece considers the relatively specific suggestion that sub-state groups are free to unilaterally terminate a Security Council-imposed process aimed at enabling the resolution of a dispute concerning their aspirations to external self-determination, without this termination having to comply with the principles of justice and international law. In the second place, the piece considers the relatively broad suggestion that the act of any sub-state group of declaring independence and seceding from the state within which it is located, without the consent of that state or any other international legal sanction, is likewise not regulated by international law.
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