AuthorJohn H. Currie
Abandonment The lapse of a state’s sovereignty over territory, causing
the territory to become a res nulliu s.
Absolute state immunity A theory of state immunity that does not
differentiate between commercial (or “private”) and sovereign acts of
states in ex tending immunity to t hem from the judicial proces s of for-
eign domestic courts; contrast w ith restrictive state immunity.
Accession The process by which a state that has not participated in the
negotiation of the text of a treaty nevertheless expresses its consent to
be bound by and become a party to that treaty.
Accretion A natural process, such as the extension of a river delta, by
which the land territory of a state is gradually enlarged.
Acquiescence Tacit or implied acceptance or recognition of another
state’s claim or right, often in relation to terr itory.
Adoption The process by which the text of a tre aty is agreed to or
f‌inalized by negotiating states.
Adoptionist An approach to the domestic reception of international
law that presumes that international law (in particular, customary
international law) is part of domestic law (in particular, the common
law); see also incorporation ist.
Alien A foreign national; a national of another state.
Annexation The forma l act by which a state that ha s conquered the
territory of another state asser ts its sovereignty over such territory; see
also conquest.
Anticipatory self-defence A controversial doctrine that would permit
states to use force in sel f-defence prior to the occurrence of an armed
attack, provided however that an ar med attack i s imminent; see also
self-defence, pre-emptive self-defence.
Archipelagic state A state composed entirely of islands or of one or
more archipelagoes.
Archipelagic waters The marine waters enclosed by str aight baselines
joining the outer points of the outer islands of an archipelagic state.
Armed attack A use of force intentionally directed at a state which, by
virtue of its scale and effects, is of such gravity as to justify a responsive
use of force by that state in self-defence; contrast with mere f rontier
Attributability The required relationship between the acts of a non-
state actor and a state for purposes of engaging the state responsibility
of, or justifying the use of force in self-defence against, the latter; see
also imputabi lity.
Authentication The process by which states verify that the off‌icial text
of a treaty corresponds to t he terms negotiated, usually by initialling
or signing the off‌icial tex t.
Baseline The line from which the seaward extent of a coastal state’s
maritime zones is measured; the default baseline corresp onds to the
low-water line along the coast, but straight baselines enclosing fringes
of coastal islands or deeply indented coastlines are also perm issible.
Bay An indentation in a coast that is suff‌iciently pronounced that its
area is equal to or greater than that of a semi-circle with a diameter
equal to the width of the mouth of the indent ation.
Bilateral treaty A treaty between two subjects of international law.
Binding i ntent The intent of a party to a treaty to be bound by that
treaty as a matter of inter national law.
Calvo clause A clause sometimes inserted by states into a concession
contract with foreign investors by which the latter agree not to seek the
protection of their national state but to submit to local law and jurisdic-
tion with respect to al l matters or disputes arising under t he contract.

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