Remarks on the judgment, from 21 december 2016, of the Court of Justice of the European Union, in the case "Council of the European Union v Front populaire pour la libération de la Saguia el hamra et du rio de oro (Front Polisario)"
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international public law
liberalisation agreement
principle of self-determination of people
the principle of the relative effect of treaties
Western Sahara
Front Polisario


The way in which the European Union had approached its trade relations with Morocco was brought to the attention of the European court, asked to rule on the compatibility between the liberalisation agreement of 2012 and European, as well as international public law.

Among others, the task of the Luxembourg Court was to establish the physical area of application of the liberalisation agreement, given that the Kingdom of Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara is not recognised by the EU, by any of its member states or by other countries.

The 2012 ruling of the ECJ conceals behind Morocco's apparent ‘success’ a victory of the Polisario Front, by opening a political breach for the latter, one that may be exploited in future juridical-diplomatic battles on the matter of Western Sahara's territorial sovereignty.
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