New Zealand's Policy of Implied Recognition of States: One Step Ahead or Falling Behind?
New Zealand Yearbook of International Law 2009, 2010
18 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 2010
With the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and the secession of Abkhazia and South Ossetia the topic of recognition of States has again gained prominence in international law. While in the 1980s, several States announced that they would no longer make formal statements with regard to the recognition of governments, the same States made it clear that they would continue to formally recognize new States. In fact, the overwhelming majority of States seems to follow the practice of formally recognizing States. It thus comes as a surprise to read, in the context of Kosovo, that ‘New Zealand`s normal practice is not to make a formal statement of recognition or non-recognition’ of new States. It was said that this was ‘a long standing practice’ of New Zealand. The paper tries to establish when the policy of not making formal statements of recognition was first adopted and examines how it has worked in practice. It asks whether New Zealand has abolished the recognition of States altogether or whether it has simply moved from express to implied recognition. The paper considers the consequences of the new policy for the judiciary and, finally, assesses its legal and political implications.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation