Public International Law Content
Recognition of Government( Doctrines)
Different than recognition of the state
• Recognition of constitutionally changed government is not necessary.
• Unconstitutional change in government- recognition is crucial.
• Significance of changed government is important for diplomatic relation.
• Where the recognition of governments is concerned, the central element is the exercise of sovereign authority over the state.
– A change of government makes no difference to statehood or state recognition as such.
Why recognition of government?
• To have inter-governmental political relation
• Renewing recognition of a government is not necessary when it changes in a normal, constitutional way (such as election), but it is necessary in case of coup d’ etat or revolution or fixing the election.
Criteria for recognition of the government
• Different criteria developed by states
• USA : Constitutional legitimacy, government in effective control
• UK : Constitutionality
• Widely ?
– Effective control
– International stability
• Effective Control
– Traditionally, the primary criterion
– fact that a regime controls the majority of a state’s territory
– Some find that effective control is not only necessary, but also sufficient to determine govt.
– recognition based on other considerations and in the absence of effective control is premature and illegal under international law
– Practical – during war, difficult to determine
• International Stability
– International stability and the role of justice and peace often have weight in recognition decisions.
– on account of justice and peace
– ‘satisfaction of […] minimal requirements of justice is necessary for recognition
• ‘minimal requirements of justice’ as being ‘respect for basic human rights, both within the state and in the state’s
interactions with those beyond its borders.
– Ability and willingness to fulfill international obligations
• situations in 2011 in Libya and Ivory Coast are examples of the fact that ‘effectivité’ is no longer the most important criterion for recognition
• Although regimes might be in partial control (Libya) or not yet in complete control (the Ivory Coast) over a state’s territory, they are recognized based on other criteria.
– Libya : disapproval of the Gadhafi regime coupled with considerations for justice, peace and stability were
given more weight than effective control.
• Some argue :
– decisions of recognition based on something other than effective control are illegal and premature
• recent state practice seems to confirm that factors such as popular support and stability of the international community outweigh the (possibly outdated) legal principle of ‘effectivité.
• Tobor Doctrine
• Estrada Doctrine
• Introduced by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador in 1907
• governments came into power after coup d’etat must not be recognized by other states until the ppopulation of this state will accept the legitimacy of government.
• Mexico’s foreign policy (1930 to 2000s)
• Derived from the name of Foreign minister
– who in 1930 ordered that Mexican diplomats should issue no declarations that amounted to a grant of recognition:
• he felt that this was an insulting practice and offended against the sovereignty of other nations.
• that recognition of a government should be based on its de facto existence, rather than on its legitimacy
• said to be based on the principles of nonintervention, peaceful resolution of disputes and self determination of all nations.