The Autonomy of Memel

  • Markku SuksiEmail author


The Memel Territory that existed in Lithuania between 1924 and 1939 was originally created on the basis of a convention that included the autonomy statute for Memel. The intention was to allow this territory, which was part of Germany until the First World War, and its predominantly German-speaking population govern itself as an autonomous part of Lithuania. The relationship between the Memel Territory and the rest of Lithuania was troubled and experienced a significant complication when the governmental authorities of Memel in 1931 sought direct contacts with governmental authorities of Germany. As a consequence, the Lithuanian authorities carried out a series of counter-measures in the Memel Territory. The legality of the different measures was brought to the PCIJ for resolution. The elements of autonomy touched upon in the Memel case are used as a yardstick for analyzing the extent of autonomy of those current sub-state entities included in the study.


Legal Order Veto Power Executive Power Legislative Power Autonomous Entity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LawAbo Akademi UniversityÅboFinland

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