SUBJECTS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW - STATES
I. Traditional Subjects of International Law
In addition to controlling territory, States have lawmaking and executive functions. States have full legal capacity, that is, they have the ability to be vested with rights and to incur obligations.
Insurgents are a destabilizing factor, which makes States reluctant to accept them, unless they show some of the attributes of sovereignty (e.g. control of a defined territory). Their existence is temporary; they either prevail and become a full-fledged state, or fail and disappear.
II. Modern Subjects of International Law
All new modern subjects of international law lack permanent and stable control over a territory. They have limited legal capacity (do not have a full spectrum of rights and obligations) and limited legal capacity to act (i.e. to enforce their rights).
A. International Organizations
B. National Liberation Movements
III. Conditions for Statehood and the Role of Recognition
Unlike national systems, the international legal order lacks a set of detailed rules regarding the creation of states. However, such rules can be inferred from custom.
A. Conditions for Statehood
The Montevideo Convention of 1933 lays the traditional and most widely accepted criteria of statehood in international law. It states “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states. Even today, these conditions continue to be regarded as the fundamental elements of statehood, but they are neither exhaustive nor immutable. Other factors might be relevant such as self-determination and recognition, but one thing is clear – the relevant framework revolves essentially around territorial effectiveness.
The need for defined territory focuses upon requirement for...
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