Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2014

In Osteuropa 5-6/2014
Teil des Lesepaket Rechtswissenschaft

The International Law of Territorial Referendums
The Example of Ukraine 1991–2014

Anne Peters

Deutsche Fassung


The March 2014 referendum in the Crimea stands in the tradition of numerous territorial referendums that have been held in Eastern Europe over the past 25 years in particular. Allocating territory by democratic processes with due consideration of the will of the affected populations may be difficult to implement. But if such processes adhere to the principles of rule of law, then they are better for realizing a change in territorial status than all of the other alternatives. In the Crimea, however, elementary international rules for conducting a territorial referendum were violated. Therefore, the referendum is irrelevant under international law. This referendum was a comédie plébiscitaire to disguise the military occupation of the Crimean peninsula and its subsequent annexation by Russia.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2014, pp. 101–134)