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Legal Personality of State

Author: Anjana Ravikumar, Student, Gujarat National Law University, Gujrat, India

Abstract

In every legal system, entities and individuals are said to possess certain rights and duties. Such entities and individuals are entitled to the right to prosecute and be prosecuted for the protection of these rights. Thus, there exists a need for the recognition of the legal personality of entities who do not fall into the category of natural persons. The State is one such entity upon whom has been bestowed a legal personality over the years to enforce rights against the state and at the same time protect the rights of the State. This principle of state personhood has gained wide popularity even in the international arena with formal recognition of such personhood of States by the International Court of Justice. International law has also recognized the legal personality of non-state actors such as the United Nations and other international organizations. This article explores the relation between the State and the Law. It provides a chronological outline regarding the development of jurisprudence on State Liability. It further elucidates the theories concerning the relationship between the State and the law and the legal existence of State according to famous jurists. The article also provides an overview of the legal personality of the state in India under the Constitution and further traces the evolution of tortious liability of State from ancient India, to the post-independence period. It sheds some light on the acceptance of the legal personality of State in the law of nations and the later recognition of the legal personality of non-state actors.


Keywords: Legal person, State, Legal personality of state.

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