Elements of State

Following the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of states which was a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26th, 1933. The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population (people); (b) a defined territory; (c) government (political authority); and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states (diplomat recognition or sovereignty). A PERMANENT POPULATIONA state is an organization of human beings living together as a community.

The population of a state comprises all individuals who, in principle, inhabit the territory in a permanent way. It may consist of nationals and foreigners. As has repeatedly been pointed out by doctrine, the requirement of a population is not necessarily an equivalent of the requirement of nationality. The population of a state need not be completely homogeneous in culture, language, race or otherwise. Indeed, it is even rare, except for Micro-States, to find a State with a homogeneous people. International law does not require a minimum number of inhabitants constituting a State.

The smallest number of nationals in a Micro-State can be found in Nauru and in Monaco. This figure can be even lower if we take into account that theoretically Pitcairn with 52 inhabitants has the right to opt for statehood by virtue of its right to self-determination. No reservations have been made by the international community with respect to statehood because of the limited number of nationals of Micro-States, even if the nationals were outnumbered by foreign residents. A DEFINED TERRITORYThe functions of a State, a political and legal community of human beings, must first of all be exercised in a given territory.

Territory is a geographical area that is owned and controlled by a government or country to exercise such state sovereignty. Therefore, most of legal professors give and conclude the definition of the territory that territory clearly comprises and refers to land territory which belongs to state and individuals, internal waters and territorial sea (straits) which state claims for sovereignty, and the airspace above this territory. It is required that the State must consist of a certain coherent territory effectively governed and the territory of a State need not be exactly fixed by definite frontiers.

“A defined geographical area” the existence of Micro-State with minimum land territory such as Monaco (1. 95 square kilometer), and the Vatican City (0. 44 square kilometer) leads to the conclusion that no minimum size is required for the territory, as this element was never a reason for denying statehood. GOVERNMENTThe government is the executive branch of the state and has the role to administer the state uniformly in the following aspects: political, economic, social, cultural, use of natural resources, environmental protection, national defense and security, and foreign affairs.

Form of state is defined depending on the constitution drafted, generally structure of state can be divided into: unitary state and federal state, this probably affects the government in exercising limit on its power. SOVEREIGNTYSovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided. The definition of “the Sovereignty” is quite similar to “the Independence” and they mostly used along together. |