The Concept Of State Recognition Under International Law

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RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON THE CONCEPT OF STATE RECOGNITION UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

The term ―recognition‖ implies a process whereby a person or an entity admits to the existence or the being of another person, entity or state of affairs. The Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary defines the concept as a sign, token or indication of acknowledgment of a thing or a state of being in relation to nation state.[1]

State recognition is one of the oldest practice in international relations, and one of the most vexed concepts in international law since the middle ages, political communities have interacted with each other as sovereign, territorial states under an accepted system of rules. Determining which entity is to be recognized as state subject to these rules has hence been a basic component of international relations. As such, it is one of the most common discussed topics in the international law literatures.2

Recognition of statehood grants an entity international legal personality and binds it to comfort it according to the rules established by international law in its relations with other states and peoples. At the same time, it makes the entity eligible to enter into treaties and alliances with other states as well as to participate in the development and enforcement of international law. Most importantly recognition is an affirmation of an entity‘s right to territorial sovereignty and integrity and its right to exercise coercive jurisdiction within this territory.

[1] McDonald, A.M.  (1972) Chambers Twentieth Dictionary, 1 & A Constable Ltd.,  p. 1128 2 Maraina O. Secession, Statehood and Recognition: Princeton University pdf document available at http://psujja.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/secession.final.pdf. Accessed on 27/2/2013

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