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Recognition of Governments in International Law - With Particular Reference to Governments in Exile by Talmon, Stefan (5th July 2001)

Part I Meanings of Recognition of Governments in International Law, 1 Meanings of ‘Recognition’

From: Recognition of Governments in International Law: With Particular Reference to Governments in Exile

Stefan Talmon

Subject(s):
Recognition of governments

The confusion which characterizes the subject of recognition of governments is due not so much to the unsettled state of the principles involved as to the nebulous nature of the term ‘recognition’. This chapter looks at two meanings of recognition: indication of willingness on the part of the recognizing government to enter into official relations with the government in question, and manifestation of the recognizing government's opinion on the legal status of the government in question. Non-recognition of a government need not necessarily mean that it does not exist in the sense of international law. It may mean only that the recognizing government is unwilling to enter into normal diplomatic relations with it. Some examples of non-recognition illustrating this proposition are presented, including cases involving Costa Rica, Russia, and Angola.

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