This book examines the criteria for statehood, and modern practice in the field. Four specific problems have been identified. First, the concept of sovereignty as a criterion for plenary competence has been rejected. Secondly, although the criteria for statehood provide a general, applicable standard, the application of that standard to particular situations where there are conflicting and controversial claims is often difficult. It is here in particular that recognition and, equally importantly, other State practice relating to or implying a judgement as to the status of the entity in question are important. Thirdly, while statehood is a legal concept with a determinate, though flexible, content it is probably the only such concept in the field of legal personality. Finally, the application of this last principle to problems of the creation of States requires some comment as to the ‘modes’ of creation identified earlier.
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