The Problem of Juridical State Sovereignty

  • Ersun N. Kurtulus


In the sphere of international relations, some political entities occupy a no man’s land on the demarcation line that divides those states and similar entities that are endowed with de jure sovereign status with ensuing possession of specific rights and liability to special obligations and those that lack such status. Belonging to no single category of juridically sovereign or non-sovereign entities, but having features of both, such entities constitute anomalies as regards juridical sovereignty: on the one hand they are not clear-cut subjects of international law in a manner that would enable them to display the usual traits of membership in the international society of states, on the other hand, they are not regarded as “an internal affair” of some other juridically sovereign entity, or simply “a source of concern” due to refugee flows or human rights violations in a fashion that would indicate their disentitlement to such membership. Thus, occupying an obscure position at the fringes of the international legal order, these territorial entities show symptoms of what may be called “the problem of juridical sovereignty”: they have a legal status that is uncertain, an international standing that is indefinite, a legal existence that is often relative, and a security situation that is at times precarious.


Legal Status Ideal Type Legal Personality German Democratic Republic State Sovereignty 
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© Ersun N. Kurtulus 2005

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  • Ersun N. Kurtulus

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