This is an extract of our Personality Statehood And Recognition document, which we sell as part of our International Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Monash University students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our International Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Personality, statehood and recognition States Equality of states All states enjoy sovereign equality and are free to act unless they have consented to a prohibition at IL (the 'Lotus' presumption).
Criteria for statehood (Montevideo convention), legality and recognition There is no accepted contemporary legal definition of statehood. However, the traditional criteria are set out in Art 1 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. This is regarded as crystallising customary law. Under Art 1, the following four criteria must be achieved to be a state. These must be attained legally. Additionally, recognition by other states will be required to enable operation as a state in the international community.
1. A state must have a permanent population. There is no minimum number of people required (small states with 1020K people exist: Nauru, San Marino)
2. A state must have a defined territory.Borders do not need to be defined or undisputed (North Sea Continental Shelf Case at 32); as long as the territory has sufficient consistency and is effectively controlled by the state, this is enough. [eg Kashmir]
3. There must be a government which exercises power over the territory and population.If there are competing claims (such as in the Republika Srpska) other states are unlikely to recognise the state.Competing governments however will not unmake a recognised state; a change in government does not affect the state itself.
4. A state must have capacity to enter into relations with other states A state will have this capacity where it is independent of other states as a matter of law (not subservient to them).
Were the criteria achieved lawfully?
While this is theoretically a requirement, there are many examples which can be pointed to where the criteria were not achieved lawfully and yet other states accept the state as legitimate due to pragmatism (see, eg, Turkish Republic in Northern Cyprus; Indonesia's annexation of East Timor).
Recognition by other states To be able to enter international relations, [X] must be recognised as a state by other states. State practice is to recognise a new government when it has effective control over the state territory
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