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Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States

The State as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications

1. A permanent population
2. A defined territory
3. Government
4. Capacity to enter into relations with other States

Permanent population/People


 Refers to the human beings living within its territory

 Should be of both sexes and sufficient in number to maintain and perpetuate
 Constitutes the physical basis for the existence of a state
 Who belongs to ‘permanent population’ determined by internal law on nationality

Defined Territory

 The fixed portion of the surface of the earth in which the people of the state reside
 Necessary for jurisdictional reasons and in order to provide for the needs of the
 Should be big enough to be self-sufficient and small enough to be easily administered
and defended
 Essence of the state. The basis of the central notion of “territorial sovereignty”
o Territorial sovereignty involves the exclusive right to display the activities of the
state with the corollary duty to protect within the territory the rights of other
 Defined by geographical areas separated by borderlines from other areas and are united
under a common legal system
 Includes the airspace, the earth beneath it, and 12 miles of the territorial sea adjacent
to the coast
 What matters is that a state consistently controls a sufficiently identifiable core of

[Effective Control by a] Government

 The agency through which the will of the state is formulated, expressed and realized
 Form of government does not matter as long as it is able to maintain order within the
realm and comply with its responsibilities under the law of nations
 Core element which combines the other two into a state for the purposes of
international law.
o Effective control means having successful and intensive administration over the


 The power of the state to direct its own internal and external affairs without
interference or dictation from other states.
 INDEPENDENCE – The external manifestation of sovereignty
o Monopoly on the use of force
o Authority within a bounded territorial space
o Characteristics of sovereignty:
 Permanent
 Indivisible
 Inalienable
 Absolute
o Dual Capacity of Citizen
 You can share the exercise of sovereignty
 Allowing another entity to exercise your power. (Delegation of power
from people to government officials)
 EDSA I – act of state via sovereign capacity of people.


 Finds support in literature

 Not generally accepted as necessary
 According to the American Law Institute
o An entity is not a state unless it has competence, within its own constitutional
system, to conduct international relations with other states, as well as the
political, technical, and financial capabilities to do so
 ARTICLE 3 of the Montevideo Convention
o Political existence of the State is independent of recognition by other