Publication Date



51 p. ; An outstanding student paper selected as a Honors Paper.


Law pertaining to statelessness in the modern international community has evolved from a non-issue prior to the Twentieth Century, when it first became a notable problem, to recognition that nationality is a fundamental human right. Currently, international law is attempting to assert an obligation on states prohibiting statelessness. In addition, a trend can be identified that may be leading ultimately to recognition of a right of an individual to a nationality based on his or her subjective priorities and self-identification. This paper will begin by reviewing the origin of the problem of statelessness and the history of the development of international law pertaining to statelessness. It will then analyze two case studies in which statelessness continues unresolved, the Baltic States and Israel/Palestine. These case studies will illustrate two types of statelessness, the international law relevant to each situation, and the stance the United Nations has taken to try to resolve the problem. The final section will discuss the commonalities and differences of the two cases in light of a growing body of human rights coming to be recognized by international law.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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