A two day symposium entitled “Self-determination, devolution and independence in the 21st century” was opened on Thursday by Gibraltar's Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia at the Garrison Library in the Rock.
The meeting will be illustrated with several current cases, Catalonia, Basque countries, Scotland, Turks & Caicos, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. In this last case the issue will be discussed on the second day of the meeting by three academics and the Falklands Chief Justice, Christopher Gardner.
The symposium has been organised by Dr Jennifer Ballantine-Perera, Director of the Garrison Library together with Gibraltar's Office of the Deputy Chief Minister. A top-level panel from different countries composed of academics, jurists and other parties relevant to the discussions will elaborate on the theme of the conference from their own particular angle. The program is as follows:
On the opening day, Sir Graham Watson will introduce the theme, The development of the idea of self-determination of peoples as expressed by US President Woodrow Wilson. He will be followed by Robert Woodthorpe Browne MBE who sits on the Royal Institute for Foreign Affairs Chatham House, is a member of the Bureau of Liberal International and Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the Liberal Democrats. The title of his address will be Self-determination: An international liberal perspective. Dr Tom Grant from the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law of the University of Cambridge will then speak on ”Self-determination in International Law: Past and Future(s).
The afternoon session will see a discussion on devolution and independence which will be opened by Joaquim Torra, the Director of the Born Cultural Centre in Catalunya who will explore the developing situation there. He will be followed by Jon Inarritu Garcia, who is a Basque member of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid who will address devolution and self-determination in the Basque country from his perspective. The next speaker will be Professor Jesus Verdu Baeza who is the Director of the Algeciras Campus of the Faculty of Law of the University of Cadiz who will give a Spanish perspective on the question of self-determination versus territorial integrity in relation to Gibraltar matters.
In the final contribution for that day, Professor Alan Boyle, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Edinburgh, will then place devolution, independence and referenda in the context of the Scottish experience.
The Friday session will deal with the Turks and Caicos, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands with speakers putting forward different points of view. The session will open with Professor Sir Robin Auld who was appointed sole commissioner of the Turks and Caicos Islands Commission of Inquiry, and who will address those present on Turks and Caicos Commission of Enquiry into Governmental Corruption 2008-2009: Help or Hindrance to Self-determination.
Sir Robin will be followed by Courtney Griffith QC, who is noted for his continuing defence of the former leader of Turks and Caicos, on the subject of Is the idea of British Overseas Territories a Post Colonial Relic which has no place in the 21st Century: The Turks and Caicos Experience of Direct Rule.
The session on Turks and Caicos will be followed by the session on Gibraltar. This will start with Self-Determination in the shadow of a sovereignty claim: The case of Gibraltar which will be delivered by Gibraltarian Jamie Trinidad who is a Fellow and Tutor of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge. He will be followed by Dr Jennifer Ballantine-Perera, the Director of the Garrison Library, who will address the seminar on Self-determination as spectacle: The press and Gibraltar's first visit to the UN Committee of 24 in September 1963.
The afternoon session will concentrate on the Falkland Islands. It will be opened by Professor Heriberto Cairo Carou, Dean of the Department of Political Sciences and Administration at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid who will talk about The Kelpers and relations between Argentina and the United Kingdom. The next paper will be presented by Professor Marcelo Kohen of the Graduate Institute in Geneva who will speak on The Falkland Islands and the right of people to self-determination. The final contribution on the Falkland Islands will come from Washington in the person of Luke Coffey who is a Margaret Thatcher Fellow of the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy of the Heritage Foundation. He will pose the question Why the US should back the inalienable right to self-determination of the Falkland Islanders.
The symposium will be closed by Christopher Gardner QC, who is the Chief Justice of the Falklands, S Sandwich and S Georgia, British Antarctic Territory and British Indian Ocean Territory, and who will sum up the proceedings.
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Hopefully, this will be fully reported so that we can poke holes in the argie and spanish 'contributions'.Oct 17th, 2014 - 10:18 am 0
I await this with much interest The next paper will be presented by Professor Marcelo Kohen of the Graduate Institute in Geneva who will speak on “The Falkland Islands and the right of people to self-determination.”Oct 17th, 2014 - 01:31 pm 0
Not to forget that the ICJ put to the sword RG and S pain's claims of territorial integrity in para 80 of the Kosovo Opinion that states, 'the scope for territorial integrity is limited to the relationship between states and does not impinge on self-determination or independence.'Oct 17th, 2014 - 04:36 pm 0