- a defined territory
- a permanent population
- is under the control of a Government
- engages in, or has the capacity to engage in, formal relations with other entities
Essential features of a State
There are four essential elements of a State:
Every State should have a defined and definite territory enjoying its complete sovereign control. There is no prescribed minimum size.
Examples: Russia, China, India, Canada are vast in terms of size. Vatican City, Monaco, Macao, Tuvalu are tiny in terms of size.
Examples: China and India are hugely populated. Narua, Tuvalu, Montserrat are thinly populated.
Control of Government
Every State should be functioning under one Government which has complete independent control over legislative and administrative affairs of the State. The Government should be sovereign and should not depend on other foreign governments or foreign military for its functioning. Non-dependence is an important feature for a State as stressed in the International Committee of Jurists in 1920.
Capacity to enter into international relationships
Every State should have the capacity to enter into international relationships. It should have political independence in order to do so.
Functions of a State
Salmod said that the functions of a State are War and Administration of Justice. According to him, War symbolizes independence of state from outside control while administration of justice and maintenance of legal order is exercise force within the society to deal with the violation of law.
From the Constitution
Article 12 of Constitution of India: Definition of State
Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law
- Pardeep Kumar Biswas v Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, (2002) 5 SCC 11