From political affirmation to legal recognition: Quebec’s right to self-determination

As a source of inspiration for the peoples of Europe

The right to self-determination of peoples continues to be the subject of great debate. Attempts have been made to interpret the right to self-determination restrictively and to limit its scope.

International practice has also shown that attempts to confine this right to self-determination to the colonial sphere and to deny non-colonial peoples the benefit of autonomy or independence have not been successful during the latter part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.

The issue of the right to self-determination has also been, and continues to be, the subject of much debate in Quebec. In this report, we present a synthesis of debates that characterized by a political affirmation of Quebec’s right to self-determination that led to the legal recognition of this right.

This report was written by Daniel Turp, professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal in Québec.

Below you can find the different language versions of the report.