Write 16 pages thesis on the topic public international law. There are various reasons why the United Kingdom recognizes Kosovo as a state but does not recognize Kurdistan, the Palestinian Authority Area, or Antarctica as states. These reasons are very much founded on the basic tenets of public international law and on how the latter defines a ‘state’. The state is defined as “an isolated, static phenomenon on the basis of its constituent elements” 1. The elements of a state are set under different conventions and treaties that now comprise the bulk of our international laws. The main and primary convention in defining the elements of a state is the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States which entered into force on December 1934. This convention laid down the elements of a state, which are: “(a) a permanent population. (b) a defined territory. (c) government. and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states” 2.

Two of the elements (territory and population) of a state comprise its physical characteristics. In order for an entity to be considered a state, it should have control over the territory it claims as its own. A defined territory implies boundaries which are laid in accordance with international laws. “It includes the air space above the land…and the earth beneath it, in theory, reaching to the globe”3. This defined territory also includes up to twelve miles of territorial sea which is adjacent to the coast. Maritime jurisdiction, which is part of&nbsp.territorial jurisdiction, has been an issue for many states, especially those with overlapping territorial seas, continental shelves, and maritime territories.&nbsp. The International Court of Justice had occasion to rule on the issue of continental shelves and in the Libya v. Tunisia case, it helped define the territories rightly owned by the two disputing countries.

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