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Justice and Recognizing the Rights of States

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image of International Criminal Law Review

In this article, I reject Allen Buchanan's justice-based account of recognizing states as legitimate states in an international community of states. I argue that his account can fail to implement justice and that it does not properly consider the nature or importance of international law. After rejecting Buchanan's approach, I offer my account. My account calls for the unbundling of state rights, and it allows each state right to be subject to moral and legal scrutiny. My unbundling account subjects the rights of states to morally justified international laws, and it supports the conclusion that sovereignty and legitimacy should be seen in degrees. It also provides a framework for thinking about how, why and when, morally speaking, international institutions should have the power to grant or withhold legal rights from states.

Affiliations: 1: Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, USA


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