Interviews 15:48 19/04/2014

American Professor: Nagorno-Karabakh is a case of remedial secession

Panorama.am presents an interview with Dr. William Slomanson, Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and visiting Professor at Pristina University. Dr. Slomanson argues that Nagorno-Karabakh qualifies as a case of remedial secession under the International Law.

- Dr. Slomanson, in one of your articles you argue that the cases of Ossetia, Abkhazia and Kosovo do not qualify as remedial secession, while in your article “Nagorno-Karabakh: An Alternative Legal Approach To Its Quest For Legitimacy” you argue that Nagorno-Karabakh presents such a case. How exactly does Nagorno-Karabakh qualify as a case of remedial secession and according to you what are the strongest points in NK’s argument of remedial secession?  

- The internationally accepted sources of International Law include – treaties, state practice and judicial decisions (as embedded in ICJ Statute, Article 38d). There is no treaty on secession, and there never will be, as that would be a political suicide for states. As for state practice, it has characterized three of the last four unilateral secessions as being unique (Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Kosovo—with no word yet on Crimea). There have otherwise been numerous conflicting state approaches to the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The remaining recognized source on secession in the International Law is thus judicial decisions – those issued by national/international courts. 

In this regard the undisputed lead case is the Canadian Supreme Court Quebec Secession case, with its three prongs. According to the first prong there must be a “People,” for which Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians within Azerbaijan no doubt qualify. Second, there must be “gross human rights violations” against this people – these violations were in place starting in 1915, when NK emptied out most of its Armenian population because of Turkish regional policies. These policies continued through and including 1989 (the Armenian population declined considerably as a result of gross human rights violations over many decades). In 1989 the US Senate-House passed Resolution 178 that expressed a concern on the ongoing violence in Nagorno-Karabakh - “seeking (2) Soviet re-establishment of economic and supply routes”; (4) “urge[s] ... investigation of the violence against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh;” and (5) “express[es] the serious concern of the American people about the ongoing violence ... interfer[ing] with international relief efforts.”

The Quebec decision’s third prong is “no alternative but secession”. Given the fact that the status of Nagorno-Karabakh was altered for a number of times – in 1919 (when the United Kingdom forced NK authorities to conclude an interim agreement with Azerbaijan), in 1921 (when Moscow annexed NK to the Azerbaijan SSR), in 1988 (by war) and in 1991 (by the declaration of independence) as well as taking into account the 2004 Minsk Group statement that NK independence is not possible under the USSR statute of 03 April 1990 (all of which are addressed in my 2012 article) I do not see how one could logically suggest that there is an alternative to secession. 

- If Nagorno-Karabakh presents a strong case for remedial secession what implications can this have, given that the right to remedial secession is not a hard law?

- Given the non-existence of a secession treaty, multiple changes in sovereign status of Nagorno-Karabakh as well as national/international concerns (such as those expressed in the above US Congressional position), the above-mentioned recognized sources of International Law leave only one logical source for supporting Nagorno-Karabakh’s bid for legitimacy – a national (Canadian) Supreme Court decision on a matter of International Law. While not a primary source, such as State practice, it is a recognized source of International Law. If by “soft” law you mean enforceability, the arguable lack thereof is a discrete political point, while the Quebec elements are widely acclaimed and thus are more akin to hard law than soft law. 

- Azerbaijan has officially adopted a stance that unless the conflict is resolved by peaceful means Azerbaijan has the “right” to take back Nagorno-Karabakh by force, appealing to the right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter and referring to alleged “occupation” of its territory. Is this stance of Azerbaijan compatible with international law or not (considering its international obligations and the 1994 ceasefire agreement)?

- Citing the UN Charter Article 51 self-defense by Azerbaijan is illogical, given the comparative size of both the Azeri land mass and military strength. NK, for example, does not have the Israeli drones that the Azeris use for patrolling the border. As 2006 Russian-American Dartmouth Conference report indicates, no single document (i.e., the 1994 ceasefire agreement) will supplant the need for all necessary parties to come to the table to hammer out a peace accord. One result of that not happening is the Azeri threat to use its military force to shoot down any plane/helicopter attempting to make the trip between the Yerevan and NK airports. So it would be NK, not Azerbaijan, that would end up with a decent Art 51 defense argument in this context. 

Interview by Nvard Chalikyan
 



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

17:00
Kanye West's fourth lawyer quits Kim Kardashian divorce case
Kanye West has lost yet another attorney in his divorce from Kim Kardashian, Page Six said. Samantha Spector, who was the Yeezy fashion...
16:45
Ex-Armenian FM Vardan Oskanian not to participate in Artsakh war inquiry
Former Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian will not participate in the parliamentary inquiry into the 2020 war in Artsakh...
16:25
Canberra's Telstra Tower lights up in Armenian flag colors to mark Republic Day
The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) reports that Australia's national capital is marking the 104th Anniversary of the...
16:06
Oklahoma governor signs abortion ban into law
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday signed into law the nation’s strictest abortion ban, making the state the first in the nation to...
15:43
Armenian opposition holds car protest in Gyumri
Opposition protesters held a motorcade rally in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, on Saturday. One of its participants, Karapet...
15:15
Armenian soldier wounded in Azerbaijani shooting
An Armenian soldier has been wounded in fresh cross-border shooting by Azerbaijani forces, the Defense Ministry reported. Private Davit...
14:45
Robert Kocharyan: Sardarapat is a symbol of national unity in hard times
Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan congratulated Armenians on Republic Day celebrated on May 28. The day marks the 104th...
14:25
US preparing to send advanced long-range rocket systems to Ukraine
The Biden administration is preparing to step up the kind of weaponry it is offering Ukraine by sending advanced, long-range rocket systems that...
14:09
Delimitation and demarcation with Armenia can't affect Artsakh's status, state minister tells Aliyev
The process and outcomes of delimitation and demarcation of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot affect the current and future...
13:29
Artur Vanetsyan left for Europe due to health issues, spokesman says
One of the opposition leaders Artur Vanetsyan, who heads the Homeland Party and the With Honor parliamentary faction, has gone on a short trip...
12:49
'Contempt for international law': Armenia slams Aliyev's latest statements
The Foreign Ministry of Armenia has responded the statements of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made on Friday. Below is the full statement...
12:34
WHO reports 650 probable cases of acute child hepatitis
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it had received 650 reports of probable cases of acute hepatitis in children, but added that...
12:18
Armenian opposition to hold motorcade rally to Yerevan
Gegham Manukyan, an MP from the opposition Hayastan bloc, extended congratulations on May 28, the day when the First Armenian Republic was...
11:45
Artsakh president, MPs call for release of Avetik Chalabyan
Artsakh’s President Arayik Harutyunyan called on the Armenian law enforcement authorities to release public activist and opposition...
11:19
Artsakh president meets with Paris mayor in Armenia
President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan on Friday hosted the representative delegation led by Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo....
11:06
Serzh Sargsyan: May victories become a new opportunity to live, create and achieve national goals
Armenia’s third President Serzh Sargsyan issued a congratulatory message on Republic Day celebrated on May 28. His full message is below....
17:00
Twitter investor sues Elon Musk over takeover bid
A Twitter investor is suing Elon Musk and the social media platform over the handling of the billionaire's $44bn (£34.9bn) bid for the...
16:45
Temperatures to further increase in Armenia
Rains and thunderstorms are expected in some parts of Armenia on May 29-31 and June 1, the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center reports,...
16:35
Iranian diplomat says new gas swap deal likely with Armenia soon
Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri says a new cooperation in gas swap is likely to start between Armenia and Iran soon....
16:26
Lawyers: Prosecution of oppositionist Mikayel Badalyan 'totally' politically motivated
The prosecution of opposition figure Mikayel Badalyan is politically motivated, his lawyers Erik Aleksanyan and Jirayr Gharagyozyan said in a...
15:45
West has declared 'total war' on Russian world, Lavrov says
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday accused Western countries of waging a "total war" on Russia and its people and...
15:36
Opposition protesters block key road in Armenia
A group of opposition protesters blocked the key Spitak-Yerevan highway in Armenia on Friday as part of the ongoing civil disobedience campaign...
15:16
Artsakh parliament speaker's delegation meets with Catholicos Aram I
A delegation led by Artsakh National Assembly Speaker Artur Tovmasyan met with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, in...
14:46
China, Russia veto new UN sanctions on North Korea
China and Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution sponsored by the United States on Thursday that would have imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea...
14:36
Judge Armen Danielyan set to hear appeal against Avetik Chalabyan's arrest
An appeal against the arrest of Avetik Chalabyan, an Armenian public figure and opposition politician, has been assigned to judge Armen...
13:56
Police use force against protesters blocking highway in Armenia
Opposition protesters blocked the Yerevan-Sevan highway near the town of Charentsavan in Armenia on Friday as part of the ongoing civil...
13:31
Armenia bans imports of primates, rodents to prevent spread of monkeypox
Armenia’s Food Safety Inspection Body has banned the imports of primates and rodents to the country to prevent the spread of monkeypox....
12:55
Finland confirms first case of monkeypox
Finland has confirmed its first case of monkeypox, the Helsinki hospital district said on Friday. A orthopoxvirus infection was detected in...
12:33
'Shushi: Amen': History that will never be forgotten
A new documentary telling about Artsakh’s fortress town of Shushi, which fell under Azerbaijan’s control at the 2020 war, has been...
11:58
ABBA makes public appearance together for first time in 36 years
All four members of ABBA reunited in public Thursday night for the first time in 36 years as they attended the opening night of their ABBA...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}