Protectorate

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Protectorate

A form of international guardianship that arises under International Law when a weaker state surrenders by treaty the management of some or all of its international affairs to a stronger state.

The extent of the reciprocal rights and duties between the protecting state and the protected state depends upon the terms of the treaty and the conditions under which other states have recognized the protectorate. Although it loses some of its independence, the protected state still exists as a state in international law and may avail itself of some of the rights of a state. Its diplomatic representatives may still enjoy normal immunities within the courts of other states, for instance, and a treaty concluded by the protecting state with a third state is not necessarily binding on the protected state.