Zubeida Mustafa


The principle of self-determination has widely been invoked in recent years, especially by spokesmen of countries which have, until lately, been under foreign domination. Broadly speaking, this principle has two connotations-the internal and the external. The internal aspect implies the right of the people of a state already recognized by international law to determine their own form of government. The external aspect concerns itself with the right of a people to determine their nationality and statehood. This paper is devoted exclusively to the study of self-determination in the latter context. Is self-determination a legal right backed by legal obligations? Its moral basis has been recognized widely, but its validity in international law is still disputed.