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Links I found interesting for 08-12-2014

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
seawasp
Dec. 9th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
Apropos of something completely different, a question I've been wanting to ask and you seem one of the people most likely able to give a good answer:

What would happen, or what would be the procedure, if a new country -- think a secret magical one that was previously unknown/inaccessible -- suddenly appeared and wanted to establish some sort of relations with the world -- ambassadors, etc.? I would presume that it's a bit more complex than just walking up to someone high in the government and saying "Hi, I'm from Fairyland, I'd like to be an ambassador to your country."

Assume the ambassadors can prove their supernatural origins/abilities -- i.e., they can show they're not just delusional.
nwhyte
Dec. 9th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
The only legal issue, I think, would be proving that nobody else had any claim of sovereignty over the territory. If it's an island in the middle of the ocean, at least 200 nautical miles from any other territory, then it's difficult to see what the issue could be.

If it has a land border with other previously visible countries, then that does get tricky; most countries have explicitly agreed borders with their neighbours, and if there is a dispute it tends to be the case that both neighbours claim a particular patch rather than neither. There are a few current instances of the latter case, like the <ahref="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bir_tawil">Bi'r Tawīl triangle</a> which Egypt believes is Sudanese and Sudan believes is Egyptian, and some similar patches along the Danube frontier between Croatia and Serbia.

And new countries which have emerged recently have generally either had the previous rulers formally saying, South Sudan / Montenegro isn't part of our country any more, or else have had patrons saying, it could be really in your interest to recognise territory X if you want a grant from government Y.

And there are odd cases like the former Iraqi-Saudi neutral zone or, more locally to me, Moresnet.
seawasp
Dec. 10th, 2014 12:49 am (UTC)
Interesting. What about the case where the territory technically isn't ... here? Say, an ambassador from Narnia, or from a magical realm that might be, say, ACCESSIBLE from somewhere in Bavaria, but that isn't physically present there?
nwhyte
Dec. 10th, 2014 03:41 pm (UTC)
I think international law would generally be understood to apply only on this world, though I note that there is nothing in the 1961 Vienna Convention which stipulates that it applies only here.

In any case, the diplomatic concerns would be about adequate controls - particularly regarding public health (communicable diseases, peculiar agricultural products). And of course there would be a strong incentive to negotiate and make an agreement with whoever is managing access on the other side of the portal. But this need not be full diplomatic recognition - there are plenty of cases of polities which border each other and do not have diplomatic relations but do agree on immediate practical issues (my favourite is the Nicosia Sewerage Board).
seawasp
Dec. 10th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
Excellent! You know, this is one area where it sounds like things *could* work about as simply as a typical movie script tries to make them. Not that the CONSEQUENCES of such a thing would be simple. :)

Thanks!
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