Essay by espanola May 2004

download word file, 10 pages 4.2


One of the major concerns of the United Nations has been to promote and encourage "respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms". Consequently, we are going to focus on the reasons that explain the particular importance of this right, mainly attending to its evolution until we get the most popular views of the actual concept (different points of views will be contrasted throughout the essay) and we will reference specific cases to see how the International Court deals with the claims of this principle.

The right to self determination was the subject of the first article of the United Nations Covenants on Human Rights in 1966, in a period of time when the international peace and security were at risk, and the hallmark of regimes were challenging after the Second World War experience.

This principle found its way first into the Atlantic Charter and then into the United Nations Charter, but article one of this charter is not the only one which refers to this right, article 55 of the charter also refers to respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples in a similar context.

The principle has subsequently evolved in international law into the notion of a right. The right to self determination appears in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We can also find it in the Helsinki Final Act; and it appears as a right in the norms developed by regional organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The right of self determination is of particular importance because its realization is an essential condition for the effective guarantee and observance of individual human rights, and for the promotion and strengthening of...