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The Protection of the State territory and the prevention of illicit territorial modifications in international law

Author: Mihai Mereuţă
Degree:doctor of law
Speciality: 12.00.10 - International Public Law
Scientific adviser: Victoria Arhiliuc
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 19 April, 2008
Approved by NCAA on the 18 September, 2008


Adobe PDF document0.24 Mb / in romanian


CZU 341.21/.22(043.2)

Adobe PDF document 0.92 Mb / in romanian
151 pages


territory, state territory, juridical nature of the state territory, attainment of territory, theories: patrimonial, of the „limit territory”, occupation, contiguity, jurisdiction, „subject territory”; territorial modifications, territorial argument, aggression, annexation, dismemberment , self-determination, cession, accession, „just titlu” transfer of territory, unification, merger, secession, referendum, fundamental principles, principles of „uti possidetis iuris”, „jus cogens,” sovereignty, people, minority, ethnical group, nonaggression, territorial integrity, frontier inviolability, The U.N. Charta, state, border consent, convention, treaty, transfrontier cooperation, border judicial regimen.


The Consecration in the U.N Charta and in the subsequent documents, of the fundamental principles in the international law together with the territorial integrity of states, frontier inviolability and their corollary, the principle of sovereign equality, has caused profound transformations in the ways to modify the state territory, the classical juridical grounds asserted in the practice of states, presenting only a historical interest and for the assessment of the „just titlu”, in accordance with the period and the admitted modalities of territorial transformations. The ban of use of force, the rapprochement of state territories, by conquest, occupation and annexation, concomitantly with the affirmation of the principles of the frontiers inviolability and territorial integrity of states, have contributed not only to the existing territorial status-quo, but also to the formation of new independent states through the exertion of the right to self-determination of the peoples.

The indefeasibility of state sovereignty over their territory, excludes any territorial modification that is not made in accordance with the present international law i.e. using peaceful means and with the agreement of the interested states, on the basis of the free will and of the interest of the people to which the territory belongs, expressed through referendum. In this sense, states are compelled to promote and protect the rights of national and ethnical minorities, and also to cooperate for the observance and the guarantee of their economic, social and cultural development without allowing them to engage in acts and activities contrary to the fundamental principles of equal sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the states. The state borders and their juridical regime represent means for state territory protection and prevention of illicit territorial modification prevention. The classification of border juridical regime in unilateral and bilateral is limitative, because it doesn’t cover all the forms of manifestation of frontier juridical relations. It also has an international component, regulated by multilateral accords and conventions that contain applicable norms of the juridical regime at the border control and crossing. The international component include: the communitarian regime, that contain the adopted by the U.E. in Shenghen Border Code, the Euro-regional borders, which comprises the norms elaborated by regional organizations, in reference to trans-border cooperation and the international border regime, that contain norms concerning the check-up at the border on the basis of international conventions.