Home » Notes » Towards a Declaratory School of Government Recognition

Towards a Declaratory School of Government Recognition

PDF · Joshua Downer · Apr-11-2013 · 46 VAND. J. TRANSNAT’L L. 581 (2013)

Recognition of governments has historically been a political matter. Governments could choose to recognize or not to recognize any other government, free from the auspices of international law. However, in the wave of prodemocracy optimism after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a group of international legal scholars declared the existence of a universal democratic entitlement, which implied that recognition of governments had legal significance. These scholars, known collectively as the Manhattan school, are generally regarded as having vastly overstated the legal implications of the shift toward democratic governance. While it is true that there is scant evidence of a general democratic entitlement, this Note argues that there is a strong preference against the reversal of democracy. This preference is reflected, in part, in a norm against the recognition of coup regimes that displace democratically elected governments. This norm represents a partial but critical vindication of the Manhattan school’’s assertion that a government’’s legality depends on its democratic character. It also has important theoretical implications, as recognition of governments is no longer merely political, but rather must reflect governments’’ underlying legal status. This shift aligns the theory of recognition of governments with the declaratory school of state recognition, in which recognition is said to merely ““declare”” the underlying legal status of the state. This Note proposes that the UN Credentials Committee, which already adheres to the principle of nonrecognition of coup regimes that displace democratic governments, formally adopt this norm as a rule guiding representation disputes before the United Nations.

 




One Response to “Towards a Declaratory School of Government Recognition”

  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you
    wrote the bkok in it or something. I think that you can ddo with some pics to
    drive the message home a litle bit, but other than that,
    this is fantastic blog. An excellent read.
    I’ll definitely be back.

    posted on June 18th, 2014 at 6:14 am

Leave a Reply

ExpressO Top 10 Law Review

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law has confirmed the schedule and panelists for its 2015 Symposium, This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters.

Read the Journal’s latest issue (Vol. 47 No. 5) here.

The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law mourns the death of its founder, Professor Harold G. Maier.

We are pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Board of Editors and 2014-2015 Editorial Staff Members.

Please join us in congratulating the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 2013-2014 Annual Award Winners.

Coming up:

The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law invites you to its 2015 Symposium, This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters.

Recent and dire international disasters, both environmental and humanitarian, have left legacies not only of destruction and destitution, but also of an uncertain legal landscape. The Symposium will address current and pressing international-disaster-response topics. These will include environmental effects, disaster assistance, humanitarian assistance, and criminal processes and sanctions in the wake of various types of international disasters. Symposium participants will include leading scholars from across the country.

The 2015 Symposium will take place on Friday, February 13, 2015 at Vanderbilt Law School, 131 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203. A detailed schedule will be available soon.

For information on the 2015 Symposium, as well as past symposia hosted by the Journal, please visit the Symposium page.

Explore Other Vanderbilt Law Resources