Allen, E and Prost, M (2022) Ceci n’est pas un État: The Order of Malta and the Holy See as precedents for deterritorialized statehood? Review of European Comparative and International Environmental Law. ISSN 2050-0386

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Sinking island States have become allegories of the Anthropocene and a symbol of the radical violence of climate change. Various theories have been advanced supporting the continued existence of sunken islands as deterritorialized States. A common view among advocates of the deterritorialized statehood thesis is that, whilst at odds with the dominant concept of States as territorial entities, it is supported by precedent. In this article, we engage critically with this strand of argument and argue that the appeal to precedent raises important paradoxes for the continuation thesis. We seek to make clear that a landless State in the full sense of the term is a proposition for which there is, in actual fact, no precedent in international law and that some of the precedents that are cited in support of deterritorialised statehood – such as the Order of Malta and the Holy See – are precedents of non-State sovereign entities. Pursuing deterritorialized existence on the basis of those precedents would therefore involve a downgrade from State to non-State status, an outcome we show to be normatively undesirable.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,provided the original work is properly cited.© 2022 The Authors. Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 15:29
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2022 15:32

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