By Thomas D. Grant (auth.)
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Extra info for Aggression against Ukraine: Territory, Responsibility, and International Law
17 Whatever the result, it is not clear, from the standpoint of the administrative law concerning elections and referendums, why the Russian Federation would have had a role to play in respect of a referendum in Ukraine (or part of Ukraine). The formal act of annexation had not yet taken place. ”19 The failure of the referendum in Crimea to accord with Ukrainian law was clear. The competent Ukrainian public organs determined it to be unlawful, and regional organizations agreed. A new State, however, can emerge within an existing State in ways that violate municipal law.
The purpose here is not to question the inherent strengths. It is instead to suggest that international law would not have emerged in its present form amid global disarray; and that the definitiveness and finality of the territorial settlement have been the central factor in providing the requisite minimum order. The territorial settlement has created and preserved the conditions in which international law has thrived. If the geographic limits of States’ power had not been identified and agreed with definitiveness and finality, then the sheer growth of international governance would not have been possible.
Part II places those events in their wider context. It argues that the preservation of the territorial settlement among States—that is, the maintenance of the proposition that boundaries are not to be changed by force—is a foundational value of the international system. It is a foundational value in the sense that it runs through the entire corpus of modern international law; attacks on it trigger special obligations on the part of the international community as a whole; the priority attached to it is greater than that attached to virtually any other value in the system; and the other values of the system have little prospect of flourishing if it ceases to operate.
Aggression against Ukraine: Territory, Responsibility, and International Law by Thomas D. Grant (auth.)