• Secession and the Lessons from Kosovo. New Dimensions in the Law of Secession

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(David I. Efevwerhan holds an LL.B. and LL.M. of the University of Benin, Nigeria and a Ph.D. of the Universiti Utara Malaysia. He specialises in international law. A Deputy Director, Academics (Associate Professor)of the Nigerian Law School, he is an alumnus of The Hague and Xiamen Academies of International Law and also an honoree of the latter.)


The secession of Kosovo from Serbia generated a lot of controversies among academics and policy makers. This was due to the absence of a clear-cut position on secession as an exercise of the right to self-determination in international law, the lack of an acceptable definition of “people” for the exercise of the right to external self-determination, and the legality of the Kosovo secession in international law. This book examines the twin principles of self-determination and secession in international law, using the Kosovo secession as a case study. It draws from established rules; past secession cases in the cold war and post-cold war era; and concludes that there is no international law right to secession but that in exceptional cases, secession is recognized as a remedial solution to self-determination disputes. A critique of the ICJ ruling that the Kosovo secession did not violate any norm of international law is also undertaken. Finally, a functional definition of "people" is proposed in addition to an emergent concept of "supervised secession".

MATERIAS: people, self-determination, Kosovo, secession, Supervised Secession