Catalonia, the European State System and International Limits on Self-Determination

Dr. Frederik Dhondt , Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Legal History Institute (UGent)

See Dutch version below

The Catalan and Scottish referenda have been addressed previously on this blog, at the occasion of Prof. Tierney (Edinburgh)’s lecture in Ghent. As a legal historian, my remarks are situated in the margin of a debate between specialists of present-day public law. Nevertheless, historical comparison can serve to illustrate continuities and recurrences, as well as obvious differences. Not only constitutional documents (as emphasized by Professor Tierney), but also international de facto and de jure constraints limit the right of self-determination. If the efficiency of the former category is questionable, the influence of the European State System is undeniable.

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Catalonia votes today in symbolic referendum on independence!

The strive for independence of regions within the EU

See Dutch version below.

Arne Cools & Tess Heirwegh (master students Advanced Study Constitutional Law, UGent), Jurgen Goossens (doctoral researcher, UGent) & Pieter Cannoot (academic assistant, UGent)

cataThe year 2014 may already be called historical with regard to regional separatist movements in Europe. On 18 September the Scottish people voted on a possible separation from the United Kingdom, though the outcome was negative. Today, the Catalans will express their view on the strive for Catalonian independence. Furthermore, the popularity of the nationalist movement in Flanders is still not decreasing. In June 2014, this resulted in a large election victory for the N-VA.

See also our video interview with Prof. Stephen Tierney.

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Video interview with Prof. Tierney: Should the People decide? The Scottish and Catalonian referenda

Jurgen Goossens (doctoral researcher, UGent) & Pieter Cannoot (academic assistant, UGent)

On 29 October 2014, we had the honour to welcome renowned expert Prof. Stephen Tierney (University of Edinburgh) in Ghent (view pictures). In this first installment of BelConLawBlog’s video interview series, we invited  Prof. Tom Ruys (Ghent University) to discuss the vision of Prof. Tierney regarding constitutional referenda, with a focus on the recent Scottish and Catalonian referenda.

In the interview, both professors talk about the lessons to be drawn from the Scottish referendum process for secessionist agenda’s in Europe and around the world. Furthermore, they explore whether peoples or minorities have an inalienable right to hold a referendum and they analyze the relationship between regional independence and EU-membership.

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Scottish and Catalonian referenda: BelConLawBlog’s first event with Prof. Stephen Tierney (29 October at Ghent University)

Scottish and Catalonian referenda: BelConLawBlog’s first event with Prof. Stephen Tierney (29 October at Ghent University)

On Wednesday afternoon 29 October, we are pleased to welcome renowned expert Prof. Stephen Tierney (University of Edinburgh) in Ghent to discuss the Scottish and Catalonian referendums. Everyone is welcome, but RSVP required. More info: http://www.ugent.be/re/nl/actueel/agenda/141029-tierney.htmRead more