Principles of Public International Law

3502 Words Oct 21st, 2008 15 Pages
Principles of Public International Law: Coursework Assignment

Question: “Law will never really play an effective part in international relations until it can annex to its own sphere some of the matters which at present lie within the domestic jurisdiction of the several states.” Discuss

‘The principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognised’.

The aforementioned is a definition of law as defined by the American Heritage dictionary of the English Language.

If we apply this definition of community in its strictest sense
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It is legitimate authority as a legal construct or as Hashami puts it “legitimate authority” that is “prescribed by the law.” (Hashami, pg 18)

The author Stephen D. Krasner in his book ‘Sovereignty, Organised Hypocrisy’ describes this element of sovereignty as international legal sovereignty. He states that it “refers to the practices associated with mutual recognition, usually between territorial entities that have formal juridical independence.”

At its core international legal validation concerns issues of the recognition of states. If one were ignorant about the political climate on the global front, the natural answer to the question ‘how did a state become a state?’ would be that ‘the would-be state must satisfy the defined stipulations (in international law) for becoming a state. Following this line of reasoning would inevitably lead one to the very first article of the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States, which since 1933 set out that “The state, as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with other states.”

It does not take much political savvy, however, to understand that the legal criteria for statehood and the actual criteria for being recognized as a state by the international community at large is a de facto and de jure issue.

As Krasner postulates “States have recognized other