n South African Law Journal - The marine component of the South African territory : notes

Volume 127, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



A state's territory is 'that defined portion of the globe which is subjected to the sovereignty of' that state (Robert Jennings & Arthur Watts (eds) 9 ed (1992) vol I at 563 (hereafter )). In that space, the state has the power 'to exercise supreme authority over all persons and things', subject to the restrictions placed by international law ( 382 and 564). The use of the term 'territory' does not create any difficulty as long as the portion of the globe subjected to a state's sovereignty consists exclusively of land. This is because the primary meaning of the term 'territory' is 'land under the control of a ruler, State, or city etc' ( (1988) 845. The etymology of the word is 'unsettled', but it is 'usually taken as a deriv[ative] of terra earth, land' ( (1933) vol XI at 215)).

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