'The orthodox positivist doctrine has been explicit in the affirmation that only States are subjects of international law.'1 However, since international law is primarily concealed with the rights and duties of states, it is necessary to have a clear idea of what a state is. Problems of definition of statehood and of its application thus occupy an important place in the structure of international law. The disputes on this topic tend to be focused on factual issues rather than on the relevant legal criteria. The question of the criteria is a mixed fact and law question though. To create a state entities must fulfil certain criteria of statehood. There are different opinions on the essential criteria, which will be examined critically hereafter. 1 Lauterpacht, International Law, p. 489.
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