This article is focusing on the recognition of a state in international law. Recognition is necessary to spread awareness of being capable as a state and to enjoy all the rights, duties, and obligations under international law.

​According to the law, we can say that it is the community of sovereign states at international platforms. If any state wants to enjoy all the rights, duties, and obligations regarding international law and also wants to be a member of the international community, then there must be a recognition of the entity as a state.

Recognition is very well defined as a new state that has acquired all the international personality and it is accepted as a member of the international community. We can consider it as a political phenomenon because there is no rocket science or any hard and fast rule of recognition. It just depends upon the decision of the existing state.


  • The new state’s community must be organized politically.
  • Such a community must be independent.
  • Control over a definite territory.
  • Sovereignty

If any of the states fulfill all the above essentials then it can be recognized as a state.


  • Expressed Recognition: It is a type of recognition in which an existing state recognizes the new state by making or announcing in a public statement, through notification, or official form.
  • Implied Recognition: This recognition comes into effect when any existing state enters into a bilateral treaty or in any diplomatic relation with an unrecognized state. This recognition is granted impliedly through which the existing state acknowledges the new state as an international person.
  • Collective Recognition: As from the name we all can easily understand what it says, i.e., when a state is recognized by a group of states.
  • Premature Recognition: This type of recognition is given when a state does not possess all the attributes of statehood.


There are two types of theory which we study under-recognition that are given below:

  • Constitutive Theory: This theory had been given by two persons that are Hegel and Oppenheim. In this theory, it has been said that the state is always considered an international person and it becomes a subject of international law. It does not mean that the state does not recognize it, but it gets the rights and obligations exclusively.

In other words, we can say that a newborn state can get an international personality when it gets the consent of existing states.

  • Declarative / Evidentiary Theory: This theory has been given by Hall Wagner and Fisher. This theory has been given under Article 3 of the Montevideo conference of 1933. A state comes under-recognition as a state when it acquires all the qualities of statehood. It doesn’t depend upon other existing state consents.


  • De Facto (Factual or Provisional Recognition)

It is given to the governments. It is a primary step to grant de jure recognition.  This recognition can be easily revoked because it is temporary. The state which has de facto recognition cannot enjoy diplomatic immunities. And the state also has few rights and obligations against other states.

  • De Jure (Legal Recognition)

It is legal recognition. It is given to a new State and it is given when the state fulfills all the essentials characteristics of a state. It can be given directly without de facto recognition. No one can revoke this recognition as it is permanent. Through this, a newborn state gets a permanent status as a sovereign state and the state gets all the rights and obligations against the other states.


Lastly, we can say that recognition of the state being the most important part of international law as it gives the state to enjoy all the rights and obligations as an independent community. A new state can get any recognition i.e. de facto and de jure, there is just a minor difference between both of them as discussed above. But we considered De jure recognition more as it is given directly to the state and we don’t need de facto recognition to proceed ahead.

Written by Namrata

Namrata is a law student. As she defines herself as somebody who is always passionate about the law and always tries to put best from her side. She has work experience with Advocates. She wishes to obtain a professional and respectable position by giving her best.

She is an extrovert individual by nature and I always try to socialize everything in my life. At the same time, she is very competitive in terms of dancing and other activities. She always tries to grab every opportunity given to me. She has core strengths in reading and writing. She also likes to do paintings in her daily life.

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