Classification: composite States.

  1. Federation: a single State has different federal States, with high autonomy.
  2. Confederation. Two or more independant States decide to unite for their mutual welfare and the furtherance of their common aims but do not abandon their separate legal personality.
  3. Personal union. Two or more independent States decide to have the same Head of State.
  4. Real union. Two or more independent States share one or more State organ.
  5. Commonwealth of Nations. It is a free association of 53 sovereign States, most of them were formerly part of the British Empire.
  6. Dependant States. These States are subject to the authority of one or more other States. The idea of dependence therefore implies a relation between a superior State and inferior or subject State. That is, the relation between the State which can legally impose its will and the State which is legally compelled to submit to that will.
  • Colonies = territories under the control of certain States.
  • Mandates and trusteeship territories.
  • Protectorates = States or territories which have been placed under the protection of a powerful State.
  • Protected territories = territories that have limited international personality. During the 19th century, it was a practice of certain European States to create protected territories to «primitive areas». Before the treaty of protection in question, the territory did not have any legal personality.
  • Protected States = States that have limited international personality. Before the treaty of protection in question, the State had legal personality.
  • Satellite States = States that were under the economic and political power exercised by the Soviet Union.
  • Condominium and co-imperium.
    • Condominium = two or more States exercise joint sovereignty over the same territory and its inhabitants.
    • Co-imperium = two or more States govern a territory and its inhabitants as a distinct international entity.
  • Diminutive States = small independent countries.
  • Sui generis entities = following the criteria for Statehood, there are no States. However, following the practice of IL they are actual States. Some examples are:
    • The Holy See and the Vatican City.
    • The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta.
  • Internationalised territories =  territories endowed with limited international personality by virtue of an agreement (e.g. Free City of Danzing by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the 1920 agreement between the Free City of Danzin Gand Poland).
  • De facto regimes = an entity controls de fact a territory without recognition of the majority of States or a government.  De facto regimes are not independent State, so in this order, they do not constitute States. Some examples are:
    • The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)
    • The Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia.
    • The national government of Spain during the Spanish civil war.
    • Taiwan.