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Title: Sovereignty, self-determination and human rights in international law, with special reference to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka
Author: Paramalingam, Sandrasegaram
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2010
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International law has evolved to recognise the state as its primary subject and as a member of the family of nations. The United Nations Organisation has formulated many legal regimes in order to impose duties and responsibilities on states and to regulate state affairs in order to achieve the goals of the Charter, including the protection and promotion of the rights of peoples and minorities. The jurisprudence of international law recognises that duty, responsibility and accountability of states are integral elements of sovereignty. This research aims to appraise the impact of concepts of sovereignty, self-determination and human rights on state and examines whether the regimes created in order to recognise these concepts have achieved the anticipated goals. Further, it explores whether there is a need for the institutions of the UN and regional groupings to play a more positive role in achieving the ultimate aims of these regimes. Based on the above inquiry, it is intended to identify whether sovereign state has become a legal entity under the regimes of international law and, thereby, is treated as 'juridical state', whose rights and duties are regulated by international law. If state is a primary subject and juridical entity of international law why are' the international regimes of rights experiencing legal and non-legal resistance from states? Contemporary international law has formulated and developed mechanisms for settlement of inter - states disputes. However, there is a lack of international mechanisms for resolving internal conflicts which cannot be resolved nationally due to the fact that the institutions of the state will not undermine the sovereignty of the state. In this thesis, an attempt is made to demonstrate the difficulties in enforcing the legal entitlements of peoples, nations and minorities which are granted by international legal regimes. As a result of the absence of an appropriate forum to resolve the disputes between states and non - state actors over their respective entitlements enshrined in international regimes, there are many internal conflicts which cause threats to international peace and security. Relying on the above mentioned three concepts and their jurisprudence, this research aims to identify the legal dimensions of the sovereignty claim of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Prior to colonial rule there were Sinhala and Tamil native kingdoms. The Sinhalese and Tamils had lived within their historically demarcated territories. These kingdoms were conquered by different colonial rulers over a period of time. The entire island was brought under highly centralised administration by the British and it underwent a series of socio- political and legal Since the de - colonisation in 1948, the Sinhala and Tamil- speaking people have struggled to their legal rights and the internal conflict has drawn the attention of the UN and the international community. two of the thesis, attempts are made to identify the legal dimensions of the internal conflict, the sovereignty m of the Tamil- speaking people and the application of law to reach the judicial settlement required to the internal conflict. In short, this thesis focuses on the legal status of sovereignty, self-determination and human rights in international law and how these concepts could be accommodated to resolve the internal conflict of Sri Lanka.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available