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Sovereign Equality of States in International Law—II

International Studies , Volume 8 (4): 386 – Jan 1, 1966


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1966 by SAGE Publications
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Sovereign Equality of States in International Law—II


Sovereign Equality of States in International Law—II SAGE Publications, Inc.1966-67DOI: 10.1177/002088176600800401 R.P.Anand Department of International Law at the School Meaning of the T'erm " Sovereign Equality " Before we go on to examine the present changes in the international power structure and their effect on the principle of equality, it is interesting and important to understand the meaning and import of the term " equality " in international law. According to L. Oppenheim, who believes that the equality of states is a quality derived from their international personality, four rules can be derived from this principle : This legal equality .. , has four important consequences : The first is that, whenever a question arises which has to be settled by consent, every State has a right to vote, but ... to one vote only. The second consequence is that legally - although not politically - the vote of the weakest and smallest State has, unless otherwise agreed by it, as much weight as the vote of the largest and most powerful. Any alteration of International Law by treaty has legal validity for the signatory Powers and those only who later on accede expressly or submit to it
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