Non-recognition of states as a specific sanction
of public international law
PhD. student Adrian COROBAN1
This article ana lyses two of the most con troversial institutions o f public
internatio nal law: the recognition/non-recognition of states a nd the sanction in public
internatio nal law, a rguing why the non-rec ognition of states r epresents one of the specific
sanctions of the public inter nationa l law. The pur pose of this a rticle is to bring a novelty
value to the current stage of resea rch, by ana lysing a specific sanction of public international
law: the non-recognition of the states created by disrega rding internationa l rules, especia lly
the jus cogens ones. Therefore, the r esearch hypothesis of this article is as follows: the non-
recognition of sta tes represents a specific legal sanction of public inter national la w which
intervenes as a r esults of the violation of some jus cogens rules in the process of crea ting the
new state that wants its r ecognition.
Keywords: non-recognition of states, sanction, public internationa l law, jus cogens.
JEL Classification: K33
The difficulty to identify sanctions for violating the rules of public
international law has often led in the past to the doctrinal idea that public
international law would not be a veritable law in the sense of legal order, but a
"positive international mora lity"2.
In fact, as Lassa Oppenheim also noticed in his article entitled "The Science
of International Law: Its Task and Method", the denial of the legal order nature of
public international law comes from its comparison with the national law: "From
Hobbes down to Blackstone and Austin it is always the same wrong sta rting point –
Indeed, the fact that the rules of public international law are not created by
a legislative body, as is the case for the national law, the fact that the legal rules are
created by the subjects of public international law and are also applied by them, plus
the optional character of the international courts and the lack of the "sanction”
element in the logical structure of a legal rule, all these lead, at a first sight, to the
1 Adrian Coroban - The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania, corobana.adrian
2 John Austin, The Province of Jurisprudence Determined, Cambridge University Press, New York,
2001, p. 112, 160.
3 Lassa Oppenheim, The Science of Inter national Law: Its Task a nd Method, „American Journal of
International Law”, No. 2, 1908, p. 330.