Democratic legitimacy and the recognition of governments in international law. (2016)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Recognition of governments is one of the essential principles of international law that confirms the lawful status of an authority holder in a state. It is also one of the murkiest principles of international law with lots of controversies.
Some scholar suggests that the most suitable way to eradicate the controversies affecting this area of international law is to recognise governments that adhere strictly to a democratic legitimacy approach. They believe that the use of this standard, which relies on the use of democracy to identify the legitimate government of a state, will be a suitable replacement for the current recognition of governments approach and would end the ongoing debates on the recognition of governments in international law.
By arguing the successful application of this approach in states such as Haiti, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire, some scholars believe they have established a solution to the recognition of government controversy. This study investigates the claims and assesses whether democratic legitimacy could indeed be a suitable replacement for the current recognition of governments approach in international law.
Further, by using a comparative analysis, the study concludes that the modification of the current approach (effective control doctrine) to include a rebuttable presumption of consent would serve as a better alternative than the acclaimed democratic legitimacy.
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