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Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Law

4. States as the Primary Subjects of International Law  

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalà

This chapter focuses on the State as the primary subject of international law. It begins with a discussion of the continuing pre-eminence of States as pivotal subjects of the international legal system and then analyses the processes through which States are created; the role of recognition of States, particularly in the context of contested Statehood; the legal rules governing the continuity, succession, and extinction of States; and the evolving concept of sovereignty, which is a notion at the very core of what a State is. The chapter is intended to introduce the main legal aspects of ‘Statehood’, as a first step in the discussion of more advanced concepts in subsequent chapters, such as the State’s spatial dimensions, its immunities and those of State officials, and the many limitations imposed by international law on State action.

Chapter

Cover International Law

7. Statehood, Self-determination, and Recognition  

Matthew Craven and Rose Parfitt

This chapter, which examines various theoretical arguments about recognition, statehood, or sovereignty, discusses the elusiveness of the actual place occupied by the State in legal international thought and practice. In one direction, the existence of a society of independent States appears to be a necessary presupposition for the discipline—something that has to precede the identification of those rules or principles which might be regarded as forming the substance of international law. In another direction, however, statehood is something that appears to be produced through international law following from a need to determine which political communities can rightfully claim to enjoy the prerogatives of sovereignty.

Chapter

Cover International Law

4. States  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter examines three concepts of State: first, that of the territory of the State, which is an area; second, that of the border of the State, which is a line having adjacent to it a vaguer ‘frontier’ zone; and third, that of the State itself, which is a legal concept that denotes the political society that is based in the territory. It begins with a discussion of how we know that a piece of territory belongs to one State rather than to another. It then considers the requirements that states must meet as a person of international law: a permanent population; a defined territory; government; and the capacity to enter into relations with the other states. Next, the chapter deals with the requirement of ‘legitimacy’ that must be satisfied by candidates for Statehood, focusing on the issues of recognition in domestic law and state succession.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

5. Creation and incidence of statehood  

The state is the central type of legal person recognized by international law. Yet, since there are other legal persons so recognized, the possession of legal personality is not in itself a sufficient mark of statehood. This chapter discusses the legal criteria of statehood, some issues of statehood, secession and self-determination, and identity and continuity of states.

Chapter

Cover International Law

5. States as subjects of international law  

This chapter focuses on the nature of the State and the criteria for statehood. International law evolved to regulate the relationships between the communities that became known as States, and it is States that remain the plenary subjects of international law. In any event, under international law it is States that possess full, objective legal personality, endowing them with full legal capacity with respect to rights, powers, and obligations within that legal system. Within international law, these include, inter alia: the ability to appear before international tribunals or national tribunals in order to enforce rights under international law; to be subject to obligations under international law; to make binding international agreements (treaties); and to enjoy some or all immunities. Conversely, other entities regarded as subjects under international law, whether individuals or national liberation movements, have come to be regarded as having international personality only through conferral or recognition by States.

Chapter

Cover International Law

4. The actors in the international legal system  

International society is first and foremost a society of individual sovereign states. However, states are by no means the only relevant actors in international law. In fact, one of the consequences of the post-1945 expansion of international law into areas that had traditionally been of limited international interest has been the increasing legal importance of a variety of non-state actors, most notably international organizations and individuals. This chapter introduces the various actors in the international legal system that possess rights, powers and obligations in international law. It provides a thorough presentation of statehood and the criteria for the creation of new states, and briefly discusses the (limited) legal significance of recognition. It discusses the modes by which a state can acquire title to new territory; the issues of state succession and state extinction; and the legal personality of territorial entities other than states, international organizations, individuals and additional actors in the international legal system.

Chapter

Cover International Law

4. The actors in the international legal system  

International society is first and foremost a society of individual sovereign states. However, states are by no means the only relevant actors in international law. In fact, one of the consequences of the post-1945 expansion of international law into areas that had traditionally been of limited international interest has been the increasing legal importance of a variety of non-state actors, most notably international organizations and individuals. This chapter introduces the various actors in the international legal system that possess rights, powers and obligations in international law. It provides a thorough presentation of statehood and the criteria for the creation of new states, and briefly discusses the (limited) legal significance of recognition. It discusses the modes by which a state can acquire title to new territory; the issues of state succession and state extinction; and the legal personality of territorial entities other than states, international organizations, individuals and additional actors in the international legal system.

Book

Cover International Law Concentrate

Ilias Bantekas and Efthymios Papastavridis

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. International Law Concentrate provides a comprehensive overview of international law and includes key information, key cases, revision tips, and exam questions and answers. Topics covered include the nature of international law and the international system, sources of international law, and the law of treaties. The book also looks at the relationship between international and domestic law. It considers personality, statehood, and recognition, as well as sovereignty, jurisdiction, immunity, and the law of the sea. The book describes state responsibility and looks at peaceful settlement of disputes. Finally, it looks at the use of force and human rights.