Meaning of Recognition

What is recognition?
• is an activity of States as a “legal person” of international law
• When recognized, state enters into relations with the other State and
• enjoy legal consequences of recognition such as privileges and immunities within the domestic legal order, file case and so on.

• Recognition, broadly (states including government)
– Is the discretionary function exercised unilaterally by the government of a State officially acknowledging the existence of another
– and expressing readiness to accept legal consequences of such acknowledgment.


Why Recognition ? Consequence ?
• Non-static nature of international community
– Variable and non-fixed nature of identity and number of states
• Old state disappear or unity – form new state
• Disintegrate and split into new states
• Even in existing states – revolution occur – new government becomes matter of concern to other states (where or not to enter into relation with
prior/new ?)
• For maintenance of diplomatic discourse
Why Recognition? Consequence?
• Evidential value in the determination of statehood:
– May be to answer legal question of statehood
– May act as evidence
• Essential for establishment of formal relation, diplomatic relation, conclusion of treaties
• As whole recognition is political rather than legal – consequence is also more political than legal
• As a general rule, newly-created states are recognised as such by other states provided their creation is considered legitimate and irreversible.
• there is no obligation under international law for one state to recognise another, even where these criteria are met.
• Conditions for recognition may also vary from state to state.
• Recognition from the international community that the new state has fulfilled the objective qualifications (recognising the creation of the state).
• countries may still not recognise new state
even if objective qualifications fulfilled .
– Eg: Armenia by Pakistan
Duty of recognition ?
– Browlie asserts that, “recognition is an optional and political act and there is no duty in this regard
– Lauterpacht and Guggenheim undertake the opinion that recognition is constitutive, but that there is a duty to recognise.

Recognition is one of the most difficult topics in international law; it is a confusing mixture of politics, international law and municipal law.
• Recognition is an act of political will, usually expressing the desire to establish relations with recognised state, government or belligerent community.