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(Non)recognition of legal identity in aspirant states: evidence from Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria

While legal identity is internationally recognised, some instances may lack widespread acknowledgment. Ramesh Ganohariti will examine legal identity in three post-Soviet aspirant states and outline four common scenarios in this article.

Ramesh Premaratne Ganohariti
12 March 2024
Read the full article here

The article explains that following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), most discussions on achieving Goal 16.9 (access to legal identity) have focused on how UN member states can improve civil registration. Increasingly, the question of legal identity in civil conflict and territories under rebel governance has gained attention in academic and policy circles. Similarly, while research on aspirant states has started looking into issues related to citizenship, nationality, and statelessness, questions related to documentation and legal identity have been footnotes in such studies.

This paper demonstrated that due to the contested nature of aspirant states, their citizens’ legal identity and associated documents take on a liminal character. It was argued that recognition of legal identity documents issued by aspirant states depends on where a person is located, the administrative authority issuing the documents, and their reception among other states.

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