potential receptivity to and loopholes for self-determination claims


Senior Member
france, french

Don't be afraid, this is surely easier than the title suggests, but as English is not my mother tongue, sometimes understanding basic things is not that easy.

So, here is the sentence i don't understand (the author interprets the legal text):
"The language of this passage is notable for its generality, as it ensures a potential receptivity to and loopholes for self-determination claims that are not strictly reconciliable with the unconditional primacy previoulsy accorded to territorial integrity and political unity."

And here is the legal text is author is refering to:
"Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall be contrued as authorising or encouraging any action that would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial intergrity or political unity of sovereign independent states conducting themsleves in compliance with the principle or equal rights and self-determination of peoples..."

Does the author interpret the legal text as allowing self-determination claims to be made even if they represent a threat to territorial integrity?
When I read the legal text i understand quite the contrary...
I particulaly don't get why he says the text "ensures receptivity" and "loopholes for" at the same time...
What does "loophole for" precisely mean?

I hope somebody will be able to help me!

Thanks in advance for you answers,

  • stevea

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I'm no expert, but that doesn't stop me offering an opinion!!!

    I believe that the intention is that if a state is following the principles of equal rights and self determination, then that state should be protected against claims that would result in the break up of that state or its political integrity.

    The author reads into the relevant text, the possibility that it could be interpreted in an unintended way which could give rise to claims for self determination.

    The potential receptivity is I believe a term meaning that if a person makes such an argument then there is a good chance that someone else will be inclined to be receptive to that argument (able to be pursuaded by it) even though no such basis for that argument exists.

    A loophole in this type of sentence means a mechanism whereby someone can deliberately misinterpret the intentions of the legal requirement. This is the idea of someone following the "letter of the law" but not the "spirit of the law" which is an expression we hear often in the UK.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    france, french
    Hello Stevea,

    Thanks a lot for your answer. It does make sense!
    I think if I read these sentences a few hundreds of times more, there is good chance I will end up fully understanding them :)

    Thanks again!
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