New Caledonia: the archipelago that does not want to be freed

Article


Breda, Vito and Mihailovic, Andreja. 2019. "New Caledonia: the archipelago that does not want to be freed." Comparative Law Journal of the Pacific. XXIV (Tier II), pp. 69-95.
Article Title

New Caledonia: the archipelago that does not want to be freed

ERA Journal ID36802
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBreda, Vito (Author) and Mihailovic, Andreja (Author)
Journal TitleComparative Law Journal of the Pacific
Revue juridique polyne´sienne
Journal CitationXXIV (Tier II), pp. 69-95
Number of Pages27
Year2019
Place of PublicationTahiti
ISSN1772-1644
Web Address (URL)https://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/research/publications/about-nzacl/publications/special-issues/hors-serie-volume-xxiv,-2019
Abstract

In 2018, the electorate of New Caledonia voted against independence in the first of a probable series of referenda. The result did not surprise many of those who follow New Caledonian politics. A substantial (yet variable) mining income, a level of public services above the regional average in the Pacific, a higher, by way of comparison, level of constitutional autonomy than other French regions, the possibility of accessing European world-class higher education institutions and the benefits of being a member of the European Overseas Countries and Territories Association (hereafter the OCTA) are a few of the reasons that might have convinced New Caledonians to reject independence. The motivations that move a political community towards independence are indeed multifarious, yet this article will focus on the flexibility shown by the French constitutional system in accommodating the demands of the Kanak, and the potential implications of renouncing the benefits of European citizenship.
The essay is divided into two sections, preceded by an introduction and followed by a conclusion. The first section will discuss the Noumea Accord and its implications for the French constitutional system. The second will discuss the identity-based constitutional aspirations of the Kanak.

KeywordsNew Caledonia, referendum, secession, Kanak
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480302. Comparative law
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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