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The Creation of States in International Law$
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James R. Crawford

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228423.001.0001

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The Criteria for Statehood Applied: Some Special Cases

The Criteria for Statehood Applied: Some Special Cases

(p.196) Chapter 5 The Criteria for Statehood Applied: Some Special Cases
The Creation of States in International Law


Oxford University Press

The criteria for statehood are flexible enough to allow a variety of entities with differing circumstances to be classified as States. It cannot be assumed that all territorial entities will have the same rights and obligations or the same particular status; nor that because an entity has special or unusual characteristics, it cannot qualify as a State under those criteria. The recurring problem of ‘special cases’ in this field thus involves a relation between two fundamental principles: the principle that the status of an entity is to be determined not by reference to any overall concept but to the specific circumstances and constituent instruments; and the principle that statehood is a general legal status with a certain, sometimes fairly nominal, set of consequences. It follows that in analysing the problems which arise here, general descriptions — such as ‘internationalised territory’, ‘protectorate’, or ‘fief’ — are unhelpful.

Keywords:   statehood, criteria, special cases, constituent instruments, protectorate, internationalised territories, fief

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