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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Territorial Integrity and Political Independence

Samuel K N Blay

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 June 2024

Foreign relations law — Sovereignty — Armed attack — Armed forces — Self-defence — Peace keeping — Humanitarian intervention — Customary international law — States, equality — Territoriality

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Territorial integrity and political independence are two core elements of Statehood. Territorial integrity refers to the territorial ‘oneness’ or ‘wholeness’ of the State. As a norm of international law, it protects the territorial framework of the independent State and is an essential foundation of the sovereignty of States. It extends principally over land territory, the territorial sea appurtenant to the land, and the seabed and subsoil of the territorial sea. Political independence refers to the autonomy in the affairs of the State with respect to its...
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