Secession, conventionally, has been seen as a corollary of the "rights of peoples"; whether would-be secessionists were entitled to a state of their own, depended on whether they were a "people" sufficiently distinct from the balance of a states's population.
"Secession And The Two Types Of Terrritorial Claims,"
ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law: Vol. 21
, Article 5.
Available at: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/ilsajournal/vol21/iss2/5