Microstate – consists of a small territory and a small population and that is recognized as a state for international-law purposes

microstate:

1. An entity that consists of a small territory and a small population and that is recognized as a state for international-law purposes.   Also written micro state.

     Excerpt from Thomas D. Grant’s “Micro States,” in 7 The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Rijdiger Wolfrum ed., 2012):

     “A number of entities of diminutive population and territory are widely or universally accepted as States for purposes of international law. The term micro State is sometimes used by legal writers; some very small States even refer to themselves as micro States. But micro State is not generally regarded as a legal term of art. There is as such no authoritative legal definition of micro State. Nor is there a precise definition in international relations. The class that the term denotes is best identified by reference to some of the States which have been called micro States, and to others which, though small relative to most States, are usually not so termed. Four European States with origins in the early modern period are typically referred to as micro States: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San Marino. The Vatican City, territorial base of the Holy See, is also sometimes referred to as a micro State. These may be identified as the core cases. Luxembourg and Malta, though the smallest States to accede so far to the European Union (‘EU’), generally are not placed in the same category. The former, with 2500 km2 0 territory and nearly half a million inhabitants, would be a giant amongst the confirmed examples. The latter, though an island with less territory than Andorra, arguably must be excluded on grounds of population. Malta has approximately 400,000 inhabitants; iceland and Andorra-~the States in Europe next on the Scale from largest to smallest population have 301,000 and 71,000 respectively. Iceland, with over 100,000 km‘ of territory, is most certainly not a micro State. Nor is Singapore, with 692 km2 and 4.5 million inhabitants, though it might be called a ‘city State. [2]

References:

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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Thomas D. Grant, “Micro States,” in 7 The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law 133, 134 (Rijdiger Wolfrum ed., 2012).

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