Tibet: The Position in International Law
Report of the Conference of International Lawyers on Issues relating to Self-Determination and Independence of Tibet
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Nearly every day there are reports from around the world of bitter struggles involving the
rights of peoples to self-determination. Failure to resolve such disputes often ends in
armed conflict. Tibetans are the exception because non-violence is their creed. It is
therefore most necessary to find a path which will, within the framework of international
law, examine their claims for self-determination and independence, and find a peaceful solution.
In 1993 a conference of leading international lawyers from 14 countries was held in London to
consider those claims. Two Committees on Evidence each under a Judge examined in detail the
material evidence, including submissions by the Chinese government, and reached their
conclusions. The legal issues were then introduced by experts in their various fields. The
discussions were lively, frank and constructive, and conclusions were reached about the rights
of the Tibetan people.
These discussions between leading experts may also have advanced the state of international
law. This report of the conference will assist governments, the international community,
international lawyers and all concerned about human rights.