Vol. 6, Issue 5 (2020)
Iraqi Kurdistan region’s referendum on the independence under international law
Author(s): Sanh Shareef Sherwani
Abstract: The Iraqi Kurdistan region held a referendum on 25 September 2017. The goal of the referendum was separation from Iraq. However, the referendum was totally rejected by Iraqi federal government, while the international community did not recognize it. The criteria of international law prescribe that players within the international system and the State wherein the secession occurs are the primary examiners in assessing the legitimacy of the independence referendum. This is because, without the approval of all the main actors involved, the vote has no legal weight. Therefore, this paper aims to examine the independence referendum of the Iraqi Kurdistan region based on the international law standards including can Kurdistan region separat from Iraq? And, dose Kurdistan region has statehood criteria? As well as, what recognition method will Kurdistan region take in the international community when it has been recognized as a new State? The methodology included in this paper is a basic library study which focuses solely on primary and secondary sources. The paper reached that the establishment of an independent State includes the legal dimension which goes through the viewpoints of international law, and the political dimension which focuses on the interests of the States as they agree to recognise a new State. Therefore, although the Iraqi Kurdistan region has full international law criteria for becoming an independent state, but it can fall into the political context rather than legal context.