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Somehow related, but different: Claiming my own country

Is it "legal" to buy a piece of land and claim it to be another country than before(either inventing a new one or migrating it to an already existing one)? According to international law, it is. That's exactly what happened to the Crimea island in the Ukraine(now Russia maybe?), right?

Organisations like the EU or the UNO are trying to enforce international law. Their force in regions like the Ukraine is limited, but in western Europe, that wouldn't be a problem. So, if it's possible without the influence of these international institutions, trying this in an area with their influence would be easier, right?

A similar thing happened in Hamburg, Germany in 1993. But that was an "artwork" (article in german).

Short summary: In 1993, Piet Trantel, an artist, claimed a ~10x10m piece of land as "Niemandes Land" ("nobodies land"). The land was owned by the city Hamburg, and the government accepted his claim as a piece of art.

  • I want to provide a full answer to your question - what is it that you mean when you say trying this in an area with their influence would be easier? Russia's annexure of Crimea, or creating your own nation? – jimsug Nov 4 '15 at 23:37
  • I meant, the creation of my own nation/migrating a piece of land to another country/nation would be easier where these laws are enforced, than somewhere, where they aren't that strictly(or not even at all) enforced. – Mystery Nov 4 '15 at 23:55
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    Crimea is a peninsula, not an island. – phoog Nov 5 '15 at 5:17
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    Anything is possible with enough guns. – JonathanReez Mar 28 '17 at 8:36
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    Buying the land means that you accept the jurisdiction of the 'home country'; somewhat self-defeating. – Tim Lymington Jun 28 '18 at 19:27
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There are certain requirements of Statehood according to the Montevideo Convention on Statehood of 1933, which is just a codification of international customary law:

  1. a permanent population;
  2. a defined territory;
  3. government; and
  4. capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

Is it "legal" to buy a piece of land and claim it to be another country than before(either inventing a new one or migrating it to an already existing one)? According to international law, it is.

Sure. But just because you say something is the case, doesn't mean it is. Always. Sometimes it is. But for present purposes, let's say that if you found an uninhabited island and said that you were a country, that wouldn't be the case - nor if you bought it from a man living on it.

If you found some land that belonged to another country and decided to claim it as that of an existing country, then it would depend on the specific circumstances.

That's exactly what happened to the Krim island in the Ukraine(now Russia maybe?), right?

I don't think so. As far as I know, the annexation of territory isn't considered sale. In any case, the ownership of this land is still under dispute.

So, if it's possible without the influence of these international institutions, trying this in an area with their influence would be easier, right?

  • If trying this means declaring some land you have purchased to be a new sovereign state
    Nope. You probably still don't meet the requirements for statehood.
  • If trying this means the acquisition of some land by an existing sovereign state
    Maybe. Probably not. The Montevideo Convention requires that statehood not be gained through force; while member states' interests may be greater where they are more invested, the requirements for acquisition of territory are the same no matter where you are.

What would prevent me from creating my own nation?

Money, defensibility, recognition, the fact that you probably don't own any land that you "buy" (depending on the jurisdiction and real estate system), the fact that you generally can't unilaterally declare yourself a sovereign state.

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Without commenting on the ethical implications(i.e. good/bad,just stating how it is):

If the self proclaimed country has the military capacity to fend off any attempts at (re)claiming the land by the previous owners or the international community, it factually is a new country, albeit with an arguably bad standing (including war) with most/all other nations, especially its direct neighbors.

Self sustainability, reliable allies and / or trading partners may aid the continuous existence of the new country.

International recognition is in the long run beneficial but not essential.

Obviously in this case it isn't a matter of legality but brute force.

Coincidentally, it's mostly how historically countries and empires were sustained, even formed.

A legal framework nowadays exists to "dissuade" the creation of new countries but even today there is nothing stopping the creation of a new country or annexation of land if there is enough of a military and / or economic power behind such actions.

Also, there probably should be a distinction made between country and nation.

edit:

I'm curious, why the bad votes? (new to this site)

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