This Paper addresses the problem of statelessness, a problem which remains despite treaties and judicial decisions elaborating distinct rules to protect stateless persons. I explain why this has been so. Drawing from the work of Bernhard Waldenfels, I argue that international and domestic courts have presupposed a territorial sense of space, a territorial knowledge and the founding date for the territorial structure of a state-centric international legal community. I then focus upon the idea that an impartial third party can resolve a dispute involving stateless persons by deferring to a universal rule. I call the third party the ‘rule of law third’. Such a rule, I argue, presupposes a presupposed knowledge over stateless persons. The Third takes for granted the territorial boundary of a legal structure, a boundary which excludes the recognition of outsiders to the boundary.