ISLAMIC STATE AND THE IDEA OF STATEHOOD UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
By Yashodhan Nighoskar
The Islamic State – also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh – held about a third of Syria and 40 per cent of Iraq at its peak. It seized large territories, establishing a basis of administration, and gaining control over the population inhabiting captured areas. ISIS considers itself as a state governed under Islamic law by a caliph. In official declarations, states and international organizations notified their refusal to recognize the statehood of the new entity. This paper addresses whether an entity engaged in terrorist activities and thus posing a real threat to international peace and security can be recognized as an independent and sovereign state. It would evaluate ISIS’s claim to statehood in view of statehood principles derived from international standards like the Constitutive Theory, the Declaratory Theory (Montevideo Convention 1933) and self-determination principles.
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