The United Nations guarantees the right to self-determination.

The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights were both ratified by the United Kingdom 20th August 1976.

Article 1 of both Covenants reads:-

Para.1. All peoples have the right to self-determination.  By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Para.2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law.  In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

Para.3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-self-governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realisation of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

Discrimination on the grounds of property and birth etc., is prohibited at:- Article 26 – of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.   In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Ethnic minorities not to be denied their own culture at:-  Article 27 – of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion and to use their own language.

Duty of the State to ensure an effective remedy at:- Article 2 – of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

3a  Each Party to the present Covenant undertakes:-  To ensure that any person whose rights and freedoms as herein recognised are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violations have been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.

The Official website of the British Monarchy reveals:-  “Duchy of Cornwall – Portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the Prince of Wales, as Heir to the Throne”.   No reference is made to the indigenous people of Cornwall or the Duke’s claims in Cornwall to intestate estates, bona vacantia, mineral rights, the Stannaries, gold and silver deposits, treasure trove and Cornish cultural and economic assets. All secured by the unchallengeable “regalities” granted in the Duchy of Cornwall Management Act 1863, section 37 and “English overlordship” as recognised by the Royal Commission on the Constitution 1969-73, paragraph 329.

In 1338 the Cornish spoke their own Celtic language which was apparently sufficient reason to grant absolute power to the Duke under the Duchy of Cornwall’s third Charter.     By royal prerogative King Edward III proclaimed:  “for ever to have the returns of all writs of us and our heirs, and of summons of the Exchequer of us and our heirs, and attachments, in the same county of Cornwall so that no bailiff or minister of ours do any other official act there except in default of the said Duke”.

The third Duchy of Cornwall Charter designated Cornwall as the primary source of income for the heir to the throne which avoided imposing additional taxation on the English national majority to provide that income as a constitutional duty.    This Charter has not been ratified by the British Parliament and is not included in the HMSO Chronological Table of Statutes, 1990.   By the Cornwall Submarine Mines Act 1858 the foreshore and rivers of Cornwall were awarded to the Duke of Cornwall as “part of the soil and territorial possessions of the Duchy of Cornwall.”

We believe that Cornwall, though not intended to be included, meets the criteria of the United Nations for a non-self governing trust territory, since, the Duke of Cornwall

exercises power in Cornwall in the form of:  “the King’s writ”, “English overlordship” “regalities”,  “summons of the Exchequer “ and  “territorial possessions” and where “official acts” may be exercised by a Duke who is “not criminally liable” under the Competition Act 1998, section 73 (3), and for whom “no act or omission constitutes an offence” under the Planning Act 2008, section 228.

Consequently, it is contended that United Nations principles are applicable to Cornwall, in particular, Chapter 11 (XI) Article 73, of the United Nations Charter.   That is the:-  “Declaration regarding non-self-governing territories.  This declaration affirms:-   “Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognise the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end:  (a) to ensure due respect for the culture of the people concerned, and their protection against abuses;  and (b) to develop self-government”.

You can help save Cornwall by supporting Save Cornwall in its campaign for action by the government of the United Kingdom to include the Cornish its commitment to uphold United Nations international law for the promotion of self-government for national minorities.

© Save Cornwall              Camborne TR14 0JG                            February 2012

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  1. Malcolm Lawrence says:

    It is about time our elected Cornish Members of Parliament united in the House of Commons and challenged why being part of elected assembly United in setting up the Laws of the Land for the United Kingdom they are denied the right to speak out on all the subjects that directly have an influence on the residents who have elected them and are inhibited to speak freely on behalf of the Cornish residents they are supposed to represent. It makes me wonder is this inhibition to speak out on any Cornish issue the reason why Cornwall is so underfunded for the provision of Health for their residents who elected them. This is an issue that should be taken up in the European Court of Human Rights.

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