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Elements of State

Updated on April 10, 2012
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Christopher F. Bueno is currently the Dean of the College of Education, University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City.

The juridical ELEMENTS OF STATE is provided in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States ( Article 1-16) represented and signed the treaty by the governments in the Seventh International Conference of American States at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26th ,1933

The rights and duties of state is defined as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government and (4) capacity to enter into relations with other states.

1. People. It is the collective group of individual living within the state. It must take into consideration as to the permanency of the group of population living in a certain territory. The people of the state is considered as the subject or the sovereign electorate that has the power to elect officials that will represent them in government. They are the sole recipient of the delivery of basic services such as education, environment, health and etc. for general welfare.

2. Territory. It is the geographical area or space occupied by the sovereign state with jurisdiction with internal waters and territorial sea, maritime, fluvial and aerial boundaries which the state claims for sovereignty and as recognized by the members of the international community. This is the residence or place of the subject controlled by the state as the territorial and political map as to the extent of its state powers to the subject.

3. Government. The established institutions by the sovereign state with the aggregate political power and authority to formulate, administer , execute and carry out the delivery of social and economic services such as education, health, environmental protection, security, agriculture, and other basic services. It has to carry the developmental goals of self-sustenance, esteem, freedom and dignity to enhance the quality of life of the people. It is usually directed on poverty alleviation, job generation, progressive taxation and distribution and allocation of social services for common and general welfare in the society.

4. Sovereignty. It is the supreme power to rule, govern and enforce obedience to the people over a defined territory. This is represented by the public officials elected by the sovereign people to represent the government and state. It has to conduct and administer the political authority and power such as to represent the sovereign state in diplomatic affairs, executive the governmental platforms for the delivery of basis services, employment, economic services and other relevant governmental activities.


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