The Republic of Memphis (ROM)wasestablished in 1968 and joined the UnitedNations the same year. It maintains diplomaticrelations with well over 100 other states includingAustralia.Around 90% of the population of ROMbelong tothe ethnic Novidagroup. The remaining 10%(about 200,000) are members of the ROMethnicgroup with alanguage, religion, history andcultural tradition which distinguishesthem fromthe majority.When the ROMwas established, it createdthe Novida Autonomous Region (NAR)in thefar northern part of the ROM. The Novidaethnicgroup enjoy a large measure of internal self-government through itsown Regional Assembly.Almost all of the Novidalive in the NAR.Theymake up the entire population in this region, withhigherstandards of living, health care, civil rightsand economic freedomthan those ofthe ROMpopulation. Something the NARarevery proud of.Since 1968, various agreements have beenentered into between ROMand the RegionalAssembly of NAR. While the region is considereda flash point by the international community duetomilitary posturing between the two regions,relations have remainedcordial. One agreementin particular, provides for the freedom ofmovement between the two regions. NARhaschallenged this ‘freemovement’ from the outset,claiming that there is no evidence that such apractice existed prior to 1968 and _ furtherclaiming ‘freemovement’ is a threat to the NARway of life.In January 2012, the Regional Assembly of NARmet and by a large majority declared the region’sindependence as a new state to be knownas Felice Novida. This declaration ofindependence expressly invoked‘the Novida people’s right to self-determination’.The Regional Assembly also declared theborders of Felice Novida were to be the sameborders of the old NAR. An interim President andCabinet was elected.Widespread fightingerupted between FeliceNovida proindependence militias and pro-ROMmilitias. For four years, bitterfighting ragedacross the ROM and NAR. During this time, it isnot clearwhether the ROM or the pro-independence Felice Novida forces haveasserted effective control over the NAR territory.Felice Novidasubsequently claiming, they haveeffective control of the region.By 2016, 20 states had recognised FeliceNovida statehood.The Australian Foreign Minister announced thatAustralia was stillconsidering
whether torecognise Felice Novida. The _ AustralianGovernment has received intel that the treatmentof ROM civilians byFelice Novida forcescivilians on the ground, may be_ breachinternational law.The United Nations has received an applicationfrom Felice Novida for membership. FeliceNovida’s Foreign Ministerhas also written toAustralia asking that it recognise’ FeliceNovida’s statehood and its government.(You may assume that Felice Novida isnot aparty to any treaties and that the only treaty thatROM is a party to is the UN Charter.)The Australian Foreign Minister seeks youradvice on this matter.What issues of international law arise from this scenario? (15 marks)
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