In this podcast, constitutional expert Prof Rivka Weill reveals the unique challenge that secessionists pose to constitutional democracies. She argues that democratic states use potent and carefully disguised constitutional tools to prevent secessionists from achieving their goals, leaving no option for independence movements but to resort to extra-legal means.
The constitutional literature dealing with secession debates whether it is advisable for a democracy to allow for secession in the constitutional document. Common wisdom is that most constitutional democracies do not include a secession clause nor refer to secession at all in their constitution. The topic is simply ignored. Only a few countries allow for secession in their constitutional document and set the ways to achieve secession.
This talk was given on November 27, 2014 at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, and has since been published as "Secession and the Prevalence of Both Militant Democracy and Eternity Clauses Worldwide" 40 Cardozo Law Review 905 (2018), available at: Secession and the Prevalence of Both Militant Democracy and Eternity Clauses Worldwide by Rivka Weill :: SSRN.