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International Legal Subjectivity

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Chapter Summary

Modern international law has grown in scope and the number of actors but still considers the state the most important subject. This chapter analyses the international legal issue of the subjectivity of states dealing with the absence of effective government through the question of the extinction of the state in the absence of effective government and then examines in detail the main principles of sovereignty, non-force, non-intervention, and self-determination. The state as a subject of international law possesses two capacities: legal capacity and the capacity to act. External self-determination determines the international law subjectivity of states dealing with the absence of effective government because it is not the organisation of the state, but the people organised under the government that is the subject of public international law. The chapter discusses three arguments for interpreting the absence of effective government as such a threat.

Keywords: effective government; international legal subjectivity



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