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Rouleau-Dick, M (2020). A Blueprint for Survival: Low-Lying Island States, Climate Change, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. German Yearbook of International Law, 63(1), 621-646. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.63.1.621
Rouleau-Dick, Michel (2020). "A Blueprint for Survival: Low-Lying Island States, Climate Change, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta" German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 63no. 1, 2020 pp. 621-646. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.63.1.621
Rouleau-Dick, M (2020). A Blueprint for Survival: Low-Lying Island States, Climate Change, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 63 (Issue 1), pp 621-646. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.63.1.621

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A Blueprint for Survival: Low-Lying Island States, Climate Change, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Rouleau-Dick, Michel

German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 63 (2020), Iss. 1 : pp. 621–646

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Michel Rouleau-Dick, doctoral candidate at the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University.

Abstract

This article examines the relevance of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta as a precedent for safeguarding the legal existence of Low-Lying Island States threatened by climate change and the rise in sea levels. The unprecedented nature of this phenomenon means international law offers no unequivocal guidance on the way forward for threatened States. As a result, most solutions to this problem rely either on the creation of new legal instruments, the reinterpretation of existing norms, or (to varying extents) on the goodwill of other States. However, due to its State-like characteristics, and existence independent from a territorial claim, non-State sovereign entities of international law such as the Sovereign Order of Malta could provide an interesting blueprint for a Low-Lying Island State to transit towards once the indicia of statehood becomes vulnerable to possible challenges. The core of the Sovereign Order of Malta’s sovereignty is discussed and outlined, followed by a survey of the relevance and added value of this option for threatened low-lying island States.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Michel Rouleau-Dick\nA Blueprint for Survival: Low-Lying Island States, Climate Change, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta 621
I. Introduction 621
II. The Problem 623
III. The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta 627
A. Nature of the Order’s Legal Personality 628
B. Sovereignty of the Order 621
C. Functional Root 621
D. A Territorial Relic 621
E. Other Religious Orders 621
F. Contested Sovereignty 621
IV. A Blueprint for Survival 621
A. Modus Operandi 621
B. Assessing the ‘NSSEIL Option’ 622
V. Conclusion 622