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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Referendum

Yves Beigbeder

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 19 November 2019

Subject(s):
Sovereignty — Secession — Self-determination — Boundaries

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 A referendum is defined as a direct vote by the electorate of a country to advise or decide on a specific issue, in contrast to votes for individual candidates to national or local elections. The terms referendum and plebiscite are used interchangeably as they both involve a vote by the whole electorate on a specific issue. However, the term referendum is now preferred as generally used by democracies under democratic conditions. Plebiscites, legitimately used at times to decide on territorial or sovereignty issues, or the adoption of a new constitution, have...
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