The Influence of the Map on Uti Possidetis Juris and Territorial Integrity
14 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 16, 2017
Maps operate to build our perceptions of reality and through that reality, impact our interpretation and application of international law. Maps are human-created, and thus fallible, documents, that select and represent differing realities. Due to these choices, maps go beyond simply documenting reality and law, and can sometimes inform our imagination of the world sufficiently to influence our understanding of legal rules themselves. There are two ways in particular that this phenomenon of mapping imagination happens in international law: the notions of uti possidetis juris and territorial integrity. Both of these concepts largely arise from the de-colonization movement, and yet exhibit a tendency for the map, and its vision of the territorial boundary of the state, to influence the emergence of legal rules. In essence, the map helps to reimagine the colonies as territorial self-determination units with a certain territorial scope.
Keywords: map, mapping, uti possidetis, territorial, territory, integrity, international law, colony, colonialization
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K30, K33, K39, Y92
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