Article Title

Manufacturing Territorial Integrity with the International Court of Justice: The Somaliland-Puntland Dispute and Uti Possidetis

Publication Title

Washington University Global Studies Law Review


“[T]he bias [in] existing law is towards stability, the status quo, and the present effective possession; the tendency of international courts is to let sleeping dogs lie. This is right, for the stability of territorial boundaries must always be the ultimate aim.” This sentiment asserted by Professor Jennings is certainly valid regarding internationally recognized nation-states. In other cases, however, international courts must “devise a legal regime” to solve border disputes among unrecognized territories, commonly referred to as “de facto states” or “quasi-states.” Yet, quasi-states are currently unable to procure declarative judgments from the institution that traditionally governs border disputes, the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”).