Founding the Free Republic of Liberland

Founding the Free Republic of Liberland

There will always be an America.

It just might not be in America.

Hong Kong, Singapore, and even Madagascar are candidates for future beacons of freedom to the world, as most of Europe and the United States have forgotten the heritage of the Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, and enlightenment tradition of freedom. One dark horse candidate for the next "America" is the Free Republic of Liberland – a new country project that has claimed a small strip of land between Serbia and Croatia, which neither country claims as its own. Croatia swears it belongs to Serbia, but Serbia begs to differ. Vit Jedlicka says they are both right – or is that neither? As President of Liberland, Vit has gathered a small country's worth of volunteers, citizen applicants, and supporters around the world, who could soon populate the world's newest country as freedom-seeking pioneers.

Vit returns to update us on Liberland's progress, and explain how this international movement is leveraging new technologies like cryptocurrency and the blockchain to build something of an America 2.0 – complete with a stable currency, clearly defined property rights, and an innovative Constitution for holding the future leaders of Liberland accountable.

"What is Liberland?" appeared as the correct question in a Jeopardy competition, showing that its fame is spreading. Now they just need recognition from five countries and they will themselves be eligible for UN membership and other perks of statehood.

Tune in this Sunday to find out how Vit and his fellow Liberlanders are approaching this challenge – this Sunday, on the show of ideas.

BIO

Vit Jedlicka received his degrees from the University of Economics, Prague and the CEVRO Institute. His entrepreneurial spirit let him to also initiate the creation of NFX, one of the largest community-driven internet networks. He has conducted hundreds of interviews for mainstream media such as The New York Times and Fox Business Network. He has also been a  speaker at dozens of conferences including Horasis Global Meeting, TedX, ALEC, and the St. Gallen Symposium. His vision and mission is to build a  country where honest people can prosper without being oppressed by government with unnecessary regulations and taxes

Title: President of the Free Republic of Liberland.

Website: Liberland.org

Facebook:

Brochure Update

"To live and let live."

Brochure is ordered around the 4 Montevideo requirements of statehood, which are independent of recognition by other states.

image

7.2 square km

240,000+ eligible for citizenship

Vit was inspired by Bastiat's The Law: “The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!”

Taxes are voluntary, and incentivized by reward.

Best elements of American republic, Swiss democracy, and meritocracy of Singapore.

“I want my sons and their whole generation here in Europe and globally to explore space in a private spaceship instead of filing bureaucratic paperwork on earth.”

Croatia maintains a police blockade around the territory in spite of waiving the territory. Serbia is the "parent state" and also waived its claim.

Urban planning philosophy is to maximize freedom and prosperity.

Fleet - the Bitcoin Freedom is a large riverboat where they are incubating the Liberland settlement on the Serbian side of the Danube. It will move across the river once Liberland is recognized.

Diplomacy - has mutual recognition with Somaliland (unrecognized sovereign state), donates strategically to partners in the Serbian Apatin Free Trade Zone.

Liberland Foundation has sent humanitarian aid to victims of cyclone in Somaliland, computers to a technical school in Serbia, and supplies to a Students for Liberty group in Uganda.

Constitution

Specifies limited reach of government for things like spending.

Three branches of government.

§VI.12. The Victim of an alleged criminal offence shall have the inherent right to institute a Private Prosecution of an accused Person.
§VI.13. Should an alleged criminal offence leave no Victim or Proxy capable of instituting a Private Prosecution, the Office of the Public Prosecutor shall have the power to institute a Public Prosecution on behalf of the Citizens of the Free Republic of Liberland.

Taxes are voluntary!

Media:

The Onassis family and Donald Trump were both thinking about starting their own countries.

Vit is hoping that by assembling a group of people which act as a nation, it will become a nation.

Legal Analysis

Article in the U of Chicago Law Review

Overview: Liberland must convince the international community that the land is Terra Nullius, and then satisfy the "Montevideo criteria" including a population living there and a functioning government. The biggest hurdle is prevailing skepticism, combined with Croatia's enforcement around the land, even though they do not claim the land as their own: "Liberland’s failure to satisfy the strict test is largely due to forceful actions by Croatia that are thwarting attempts by Liberland’s citizens to establish a permanent resident population and erect the physical apparatus of a functioning state."

I have structured this Comment as follows. First, I provide a brief history of Liberland, including a discussion of the unique history that precipitated the current territorial dispute between Serbia and Croatia. I then discuss customary international law and argue that Liberland is unlikely to obtain statehood through the principle of self-determination because it is not solidly enshrined in custom. Third, I ask whether Liberland would be able to obtain independence in light of the territorial integrity of the parent state—for example Serbia or Croatia—if they were to assert their claims to Liberland in the future. Fourth, I evaluate Liberland’s statehood aspirations under the criteria enumerated in the Montevideo Convention, and posit that Liberland most likely does not meet a strict application of these criteria. I posit, however, that Liberland would likely satisfy a “relaxed” Montevideo standard and argue that a relaxed standard may be appropriate. I then discuss criticisms of the Montevideo Criteria, and ask whether Liberland meets the additional statehood requirements that some scholars have proposed.
The term “micronation” refers to a group that “claims sovereignty (generally unrecognized by other nations) over small territories for the purpose of self-determination.”… By contrast, mircostates “enjoy full recognition by the international community.”

Terra Nullius and the border dispute

Importantly, Liberland may fall under the category of terra nullius.22 Liberland is located on the west Bank of the Danube, on one of the small slivers of formerly Serbian land that Croatia gained title to after they codified the Badinter Commission’s findings as the international border between them.23 Before the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, a sizable Serbian minority lived on the Croatian (Western) side of the Danube, while a small Croatian population lived on the Serbian (Eastern) side.24 The Badinter Commission’s report assigned ten times more historically Croatian land to Serbia than historically Serbian land to Croatia.25 Therefore, Serbia has refused to claim title to Liberland, and even issued a statement saying that Liberland would “not theoretically impinge on its border.”26 Croatia, for its part, has not recognized Liberland, even though the land Liberland claims is within the internationally recognized border of Croatia.27 If Croatia were to claim title to Liberland, this claim could be equated with Croatia tacitly accepting the current international border. However, Croatia is unwilling to acknowledge the validity of the current border because the border assigns large amounts of formerly Croatian land to Serbia.
If Liberland is really terra nullius,30 Liberland’s claim to it may be legitimate under international law. If the territory that Liberland claims as its own is rightfully Croatia’s under international law, it might now be terra nullius; Croatia’s insistence that Liberland is part of Serbia could constitute a renunciation of Croatia’s legal rights to Liberland. Conversely, if the territory that Liberland claims as its own is Serbian, the Serbian government’s renunciation of its title to that land could also be a quitclaim that would transform the legal status of the land to terra nullius. In both instances, the territory would belong to the first entity—in this case Liberland—to claim it.

There is some interesting discussion of river borders, and how they change when a river's current shifts, or creates a new rivulet and associated island.

While neither country wants to claim the land on which Liberland rests, neither has, as of yet, explicitly waived its right to the territory.
Similarly, Serbia is extremely unlikely to waive its title to Liberland. Doing so would be a tacit acceptance that the title to Liberland is Serbia’s to waive, which would be an acknowledgement on the part of Serbia that the old border—not the new one—is correct.137 Thus, waiving title to Liberland could result in Serbia losing title to the large area of land now located on its side of the Danube.

The Right to Self-Determination

Furthermore, General Assembly Resolution 1514, enacted in 1960 and aimed at eradicating colonialist domination of peoples around the world, unequivocally states that “[a]ll 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.”

However...

The emergence of new States, by definition, threatens the territorial integrity, viability, and existence of old ones.
[There exists a] conflict between the right to self-determination and another important principle in international law—“the principle of respect for the territorial integrity of a State.”

Montevideo Convention

The Montevideo convention lays out criteria for statehood, which are a necessary but insufficient condition. Recognition, not declaration, is the final step after this criteria are met. The Constitutive approach to statehood is based on obtaining recognition, which Liberland is trying to do, now that it has already attempted the Declaratory approach and found it lacking in guaranteeing them statehood.

The Montevideo criteria ...

First, it must have a permanent population.

Second, it must have a defined territory.

Third, it must have an effective government.

Fourth, it must have the capacity to enter into relations with other states.

Thus, there is a chicken and egg problem that you must be able to enter into relations with other states, before you are officially recognized as a state?

Liberland may have the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Jedlicka has the support of several members of the European Parliament. As noted above, one European Parliament member, Tomas Zdechovsky, accompanied Jedlicka on a failed attempt to make a landing in Liberland in June of 2015.196 Furthermore, Jedlicka recently met with members of the Swiss Parliament.197 Moreover, Liberland has established permanent diplomatic missions in numerous states, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia. However, the states in which Liberland has established diplomatic missions have not recognized Liberland as an independent sovereign.

Technology

E-citizenship

March 3, 2021

Proprietary software KYC enables Liberland to vet their prospective citizens against a database from 139 different countries, and datachecks from over 10,000 data source points.

Bitcoin & Blockchain

A country "By bitcoiners and for bitcoiners." April 13th founding - T. Jefferson's systems.

The country's reserves will be held in bitcoin, and the governance will all take place on the blockchain - the decentralized distributed ledger, which can used to write enforceable contracts that execute themselves when certain verifiable criteria are met. You can also use it to record property rights connected to specific geographical coordinates, which are tamper-proof and verifiable.

Historically, land registries were based on paper documents, which can be lost, destroyed, falsified, or otherwise manipulated. In countries like the UK, governments have largely moved to digital land registration systems. However, if someone wants to sell an older property that hasn’t previously been registered, and the paper title deeds have been lost or destroyed, the process to register the property in order to sell it can become highly arduous. … As recently as 2004, only one percent of land in sub-Saharan Africa was under formal government registration. … [a] study also uncovered that corruption was rife, along with an inefficient process for land registration evidenced by poor record-keeping, cumbersome processes, and lengthy delays.
The simplest implementation of a blockchain-based land registry could enable the ownership documents to be recorded and assigned to the owner’s user account. If there are structural changes to the building, these can be added to the blockchain, and if the property is sold, all the relevant documentation can be transferred to the new owner. Every transaction is traceable, timestamped, and indisputable. … This can be done whenever needed, unconstrained by office working hours. No paper-based system can provide such flexibility, resilience and durability. … [S]ome countries are already turning to blockchain for land registration, including Sweden and Ukraine.

Media

Recent events:

April 13-17 | Liberland - 6th Anniversary of Liberland for e-residents and citizens

May 12-15, 2021 | Playa del Carmen, Mexico - Nomad Capitalist Offshore Conference

August 12-15, 2021 | Liberland - Floating Man Festival

Colorful description of the recent event, modeled on burning man.