The Republic of Memphis (ROM) was established in 1968

The Republic of Memphis (ROM) was established in 1968 and joined the United Nations the same year. It maintains diplomatic relations with well over 100 other states including Australia.

The Republic of Memphis (ROM) was established in 1968
Please explain your answers by referring to relevant law, legislation, cases and any other legal materials. The Republic of Memphis (ROM) was established in 1968 and joined the United Nations the same year. It maintains diplomatic relations with well over 100 other states including Australia. Around 90% of the population of ROM belong to the ethnic Novida group. The remaining 10% (about 200,000) are members of the ROM ethnic group with a language, religion, history and cultural tradition which distinguishes them from the majority.

When the ROM was established, it created the Novida Autonomous Region (NAR) in the far northern part of the ROM. The Novida ethnic group enjoy a large measure of internal self- government through its own Regional Assembly. Almost all of the Novida live in the NAR. They make up the entire population in this region, with higher standards of living, health care, civil rights and economic freedom than those of the ROM population. Something the NAR are very proud of. Since 1968, various agreements have been entered into between ROM and the Regional Assembly of NAR.

While the region is considered a flash point by the international community due to military posturing between the two regions, relations have remained cordial. One agreement in particular, provides for the freedom of movement between the two regions. NAR has challenged this ‘free movement’ from the outset, claiming that there is no evidence that such a practice existed prior to 1968 and _ further claiming ‘free movement’ is a threat to the NAR way of life. In January 2012, the Regional Assembly of NAR met and by a large majority declared the region’s independence as a new state to be known as Felice Novida.

This declaration of independence expressly invoked ‘the Novida people’s right to self-determination’.
The Regional Assembly also declared the borders of Felice Novida were to be the same borders of the old NAR. An interim President and Cabinet was elected. Widespread fighting erupted between Felice Novida pro independence militias and pro-ROM militias.

For four years, bitter fighting raged across the ROM and NAR. During this time, it is not clear whether the ROM or the pro- independence Felice Novida forces have asserted effective control over the NAR territory. Felice Novida subsequently claiming, they have effective control of the region. By 2016, 20 states had recognised Felice Novida statehood.

The Australian Foreign Minister announced that Australia was still considering whether to recognise Felice Novida. The _ Australian Government has received intel that the treatment of ROM civilians by Felice Novida forces civilians on the ground, may be_ breach international law. The United Nations has received an application from Felice Novida for membership. Felice Novida’s Foreign Minister has also written to Australia asking that it recognise’ Felice Novida’s statehood and its government.

(You may assume that Felice Novida is not a party to any treaties and that the only treaty that ROM is a party to is the UN Charter.) The Australian Foreign Minister seeks your advice on this matter. What issues of international law arise from this scenario? (15 marks)

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