Friday, June 04, 2010


Territory is the fixed portion of the surface of the earth inhabited by the people of the State. It is fixed because there are groups that may seem to appear to have all the elements of the state but actually they are not. Examples of these are freebooters sailing the seas, nomadic tribes or even patriotic revolutionaries. They exist independent of external control, have governments of their own. One thing though, their territories are not definite. They have ephemeral existence, thus, they cannot be considered as states.

Territory is one of the fundamental attributes of a state because the exercise of sovereignty is established upon it. Where can the state exercise its authority or demand duties if it lacked territory?

Territory has three components. They are the land mass otherwise known as terrestrial domain, the inland and external waters, which make up the maritime and fluvial domain, and the air space above the land and waters, which is called the aerial domain.

There is also no requirement as to the size of the territory although it must be neither too big as to be difficult to administer and defend nor too small as to be unable to provide for the needs of the population. Thus a state may cover a vast expanse of continent like of Russia and China or it may only occupy only a few square miles like the Vatican City.

Size is of no legal significance but when it comes to practical politics and international relations, it is obviously material. An independent community occupying only a few square miles of territory is of very little importance in the game of world politics. (Sinco, 1962)

1 comment:

  1. hi, you have a very helpful blog... I just wanted to ask your opinion on this, "Sovereignty means that a country has a clearly defined territory? true or false?" :)