When Is A State A State? The Case For Recognition Of Somaliland


Alison K. Eggers


It has been well over a decade since the world attempted to save Somalia from the dustbin of “failed states.” During that decade, one region of Somalia has pulled away from its post-colonial union with Somalia, established its own government, kept the peace, and managed to flourish in a kind of stability that is only a faint memory to most Somalians outside the region. Somaliland, once a British colony, argues it should be recognized as an independent state. This Note explores the legal conception of statehood, from the Montevideo Convention to the more recent emphasis on self-determination, and then turns to the case of Somaliland, arguing that Somaliland should be recognized as a state by the international community.

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A.K.Eggers (2007), Boston College International & Comparative Law Review, Vol 30:211 on December 1, 2007

About the author

Alison K. Eggers, Associate

Ms. Eggers is an associate in Seyfarth Shaw’s Boston office.  Her practice focuses primarily on commercial litigation, securities enforcement, and regulatory compliance for retail clients. 
Ms. Eggers has served as first- and second-chair in bench and jury trials, most recently as lead counsel in a suit brought by a beneficiary against its trustee for breach of fiduciary duties.  After a trial to establish the value of an investment account mismanaged for over 40 years, Ms. Eggers recovered nearly $5 million for the beneficiary and the trust.  Ms. Eggers also counsels retail clients on litigation, enforcement, and compliance strategy related to advertising and promotions, licensure, competition, labeling, and data privacy. 
After graduation, Ms. Eggers clerked for the Hon. Kenneth C. Stephan of the Nebraska Supreme Court.  She has also taught legal writing at Boston College Law School and The University of Nebraska at Lincoln College of Law.  Ms. Eggers was named a Rising Star by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly from 2013 to 2017.


  • J.D., Boston College Law School (2007)

Editor-in-Chief, International and Comparative Law Review

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court, Regional Champion

  • A., Loyola University Chicago (2002)
  • B.A., Loyola University Chicago, magna cum laude (2001)

Phi Betta Kappa


  • Massachusetts
  • New York


  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts


  • American Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Women’s Bar Association


  • Moderator, “Consumer Protection Bites: Fundamentals of Online Contracting and Auto-Renewal,” Webinar, ABA Antitrust Section (June 5, 2017)
  • “Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage: Highlighting Significant Motor Vehicle Franchise Decisions and Developments in 2016,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (December 15, 2016)
  • Presenter, MCLE: Pretrial Litigation, Motion Practice (September 2014)
  • Speaker, ABA Section of Antitrust Law Consumer Protection Committee Teleconference (May 2010)


  • “Health Insurance Mergers: What Will the Industry Look Like After Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna?,” The Exchange: Insurance and Financial Services Developments (Fall/Winter 2015)
  • Co-author, “Massachusetts Business Litigation Session Year in Review,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (December 2011)
  • Contributor, “Private Remedies for False or Misleading Advertising: Lanham Act Section 43(a),” Consumer Protection Law Developments, 2013 Update, ABA Antitrust Section (2013)
  • Contributor, “Private Remedies for False or Misleading Advertising: Lanham Act Section 43(a),” Consumer Protection Law Developments, 2011 Update, ABA Antitrust Section (2011)
  • Contributor,” 2011 Review of Consumer Protection Law Developments,” ABA Antitrust Section (August 2011)
  • “When is a State a State?” The Case for Recognition of Somaliland, 30 B.C. INT’L & COMP. L. REV. 211 (2007)

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