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State Recognition And State Succession

Acknowledgement is when a Government authority publicly recognises another government's establishment, giving it certain privileges and obligations.

In this article, we will understand State recognition and State succession. An individual State’s jurisdiction is the power to enact, execute, and judge the rule of law inside its borders. It covers everyone and everything within its walls. If there is a direct national relationship between the two, it may also apply to people and property located in another country.

This power derives from the State’s sovereignty and is essential to its functioning. Concerning the principle of non-interference in a State’s own internal legislation, it is a matter of equal treatment before the law.

A State can be challenged if it creates laws contrary to international law inside its borders. It is possible to hold it accountable for a violation of international law in certain situations. State law enforcement cannot impose its rules on other States without their cooperation, and conditions cannot infringe on the geographical sovereignty of other States.

A Jurisdiction’s Guiding Principles

A State’s claim to jurisdiction might be founded on various grounds. In civil and criminal situations, these principles are different. Unlike criminal jurisdiction, civil jurisdiction is far more expansive. Although the defendant may only be in the jurisdiction temporarily, serving of process is almost always required in civil actions. The State, on the other hand, invokes certain principles in the criminal jurisdiction.

  • The Principle of Territories

States have the authority to define their borders, which is where the Territorial Principle gets its name from. In International Law, this is the most common area of jurisdiction.

  • The Principle of Nationality

According to the Nationality Principle, a country’s government has authority over its nationals present in another country while they are travelling there. In other words, the State has power over all its citizens. Only in circumstances of egregious crimes committed by or against the citizens of the State may this principle be applied. Even if there are inevitable disagreements across countries, this is a universally agreed-upon premise in the fight against terrorism.

  • Principle of Self-Defence

When a State’s security is at risk, the Protective Principle allows it to exert authority over foreigners. The State uses this authority to safeguard its interests. On the other hand, this idea has a considerably more limited reach, and its applicability is debatable.

  • The Principle of Universality

For the Universality Principle to apply, a State must claim jurisdiction over any individual wherever in the globe, regardless of their nationality or security. States have agreed on this principle when it comes to international law violations. Violence against humanity and terrorism are included in this category.

  • Jurisdictional Immunity

Specific individuals and organisations are given immunity under international law. There are four categories of circumstances in which the subjects are exempt from the State’s jurisdiction:

  1. Sovereign Immunity
  2. Immunity of diplomats
  3. Confidentiality
  4. International organisations are exempt from prosecution.

Now, let us get into some detail about state recognition and state succession. 

Recognising the State

The unilateral act of a government to publicly recognise the existence of another State is called “recognition.” Some various privileges and obligations come with being recognised as a State. The rights and immunities it will be entitled to in a foreign State will not be accorded to a non-State.

State recognition is more political than legal, since each State has its national interests to safeguard.

Distinguishing Factors

Recognition is a two-step process:

  • The Theory of Constituents

Recognition by another State of an entity gives it international legal personality, according to this idea. Therefore, existing States have given their blessing to the creation of a new one.

  • Theoretical Declaratory 

It is a trivial formality, according to Declaratory Theory, to recognise someone. Recognition is just the acknowledgement of the fact that a State exists. If an entity meets the criteria for Statehood, it is regarded as a State with all the rights and obligations that come with being a State.

The declaratory theory is widely recognised in today’s society.

There are several State Succession models

First, there is no limit to the number of heirs that may inherit.

As an example, the creation of Turkey from the Ottoman Empire is universal succession. This is the most usual type of succession.

  • Succession in Parts

Partial succession occurs when a component of the parent State is split off and becomes its distinct entity. Here, the old State preserves its sovereignty and rights, but the severing half becomes a separate State with no commitments to its predecessor. Partial succession may be seen, for example, in the division of India and Pakistan.

According to the Vienna Convention on State Succession, there will be no significant changes to the border treaties if they are transferred to the Successor State. Regional treaties about land, territory, and the like will be identically transferred to the Successor State when the incumbent State succumbs.

Rights and responsibilities under human rights treaties are handed down the generations. There is no succession in treaties about peace or neutrality.

  • Succession to the Presidency

When one country’s sovereignty is transferred to another, this is known as a “State Succession”. State authority over a portion of the whole region is therefore lost.

The transfer of sovereignty and powers from one State to another is at the heart of this idea. Since the turn of the twentieth century, this has become more critical. There are several reasons for the succession of a State. A significant occurrence of the previous century was the decolonisation of nations.

As a result, these nations became States and proceeded through State Succession. State Succession occurs when a form is split into smaller units, and each team works independently.


Thus, we have looked at State succession and State recognition in some detail. If the recognising State says so, it signifies that the State to be recognised meets the requirements of International Law. On the other hand, De Facto Recognition is only valid for a short period before it expires.

However, there may be some misgivings regarding the long-term prospects of the State or Government, but for the time being, it has met the standards to be recognised.


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