A Right to Self-Determination and a Privilege to Independence : A Legal Assessment of the Prospects for Peace & Security in the Middle East
Abstract: This thesis A Right to Self-Determination and a Privilege to Independence: A Legal Assessment of the Prospects for Peace & Security in the Middle East, deals with the concept of self-determination and its application to the Middle East conflict with the “Palestine Question” in its midst. The thesis has two parts, Part I Self-Determination: Revisited Content and New Legal Boundary and Part II The Arab-Israeli Conflict with the respective conclusions and analysis intertwined in the final Chapter 5.The chief issue has been to assert the legal content, status and boundary of the concept of self-determination as separate from the concept of independence and creation of States. Based upon Wesley Hohfeld’s system of correlatives and contradictions for determining rights, duties, privileges, no-rights, immunities, disabilities, powers and liabilities under a legal system, it was concluded that there is a people’s right to self-determination under international law, with the content of democratic rule within the human rights framework. It was also concluded that there is a people’s privilege to independence in the form of creating States, correlative with a no-right of States. These interpretations in turn were relevantized in conformity with a basic norm of promoting sustainable and long term international peace and security, therefore making them valid.Under the second part of this thesis dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict with a focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a penetrating approach was found to be required in order to examine the causes of the entirety of the conflict. These were suggested to primarily lie in the regional democratic deficit, resulting in low national security levels in the vast majority of the Middle East countries. As the “Palestine Question” is merely a small piece of the entire Middle East conflict, albeit a major part of the Middle East dynamics, a regional approach to resolving the conflict therefore is also necessary. An overall implementation of the right to self-determination as democratic rule within the human rights framework would elevate national security levels in the region to the point that these countries have a peaceful impact on their surroundings. This would plausibly also create a stable foundation for resolving the “Palestine Question”.
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