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Unformatted text preview: or of Law, St. John's University School of Law, 2000. Brooklyn Journal of International Law. State sovereignty is the very foundation upon which international law exists. State sovereignty and its corollaries were recognized among the European Nation-States as a fundamental principle from "Day One" when international law came into being. Bodin's proposition that States had absolute, indivisible and perpetual sovereignty n15 was reflective of the practical need to "promote peace by validating the power of the French king against rival claimants." n16 Grotius and his followers, [*421] drawing on works of earlier writers, likewise "presupposed a territorial order in which states were free from outside control." n17 Vattel fully recorded the principle of sovereign independence and equality of states in his influential works. n18 From the principle of territorial sovereignty, Vattel derived the proposition that ownership of a territory entitles a State to exercise jurisdiction. n19 For him, all States were equal, with the same rights and obligations, and the actual might of States did not matter; "a small republic is no less a sovereign state than the most powerful kingdom." n20 He argued that no State had the right to intervene in another State's government, stating that "sovereignty is, doubtless, the most precious [right of a nation] . . . which other nations ought most scrupulously to respect." n21 The opinions of these renowned writers were inseparable from the practical need of Nation-States to be treated by each other as equals. POSSIBILITY OF CHAOS IN A WORLD WITHOUT SOVEREIGNTY MEANS HUMANITARIAN CONCERNS CANNOT BE PRIORITIZED Elizabeth E. Ruddick, Director of Strategic Research of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 1997. Boston University Law Review, p. 455-456. Then-Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar reflected this tension between human rights protection and sovereignty in his 1991 annual report on the activities of the U.N. in 1991...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13