In seeking to foster preconditions for maintenance of order international law lays great emphasis on state sovereignty - guaranteeing states special protection against threats to their territorial integrity. However the demarcation of territory in most post-colonial states is extremely controversial since these physical dimensions were usually established during European colonial rule. The Roman doctrine of "uti possidetis" was called upon to add the thrust of legal sanctity and prevent challenge to boundaries bequeathed to the new ruler. By charting its progress through different temporal phases this book demonstrates that this doctrine evolved to suit political rather than legal tenets. The book is divided into seven chapters; the first two focusing on theoretical issues surrounding uti possidetis, examining its original development in Roman law. The next three chapters trace usage of the doctrine through Spanish decolonization, African colonisation and recent ICJ jurisprudence while the last two study modern manifestations of the effects of the doctrine in Yugoslavia and for indigenous peoples world-wide. A comprehensive and critical analysis of the Roman doctrine of uti possidetis, this book should prove an important resource for both students and scholars of international law.