JEAIL > Volume 9(1); 2016 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2016

Application of the Law of Self-Determination in a Postcolonial Context: A Guideline

M. Ya'kub Aiyub Kadir
Law Faculty/Fakultas Hukum, Unsyiah Darussalam, Banda Aceh-Indonesia.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The development of the law of self-determination has been stagnant in terms of scope and content in its application in the postcolonial context. It requires a new paradigm to persuade the United Nations, its specialized agencies and affiliated organizations to address current phenomenon regarding normative, institutional and community awareness. This research has revealed that the essential meaning of self-determination is a remedial means for an oppressed person both in colonial and postcolonial context. While the colonial context has ended, postcolonial self-determination remains focussed on both repairing the historical wrongs of the colonial context, responding to the breakdown of a state, and recovering from persistent violations against anyone in the State. Accordingly, this paper will contribute to the development of guidelines for these applications: which primarily refer to some degree of internal self-determination (autonomy); and when this proves unsuccessful, external self-determination (independent) can be proposed as the last resort.

Keywords : Law of Self-Determination, Internal Self-Determination, External Self-Determination, Postcolonial Context, United Nations, ICCPR

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