Succession of States


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Succession of States

Succession occurs when one state ceases to exist or loses control over part of its territory, and another state comes into existence or assumes control over the territory lost by the first state. A central concern in this instance is whether the international obligations of the former state are taken over by the succeeding state. Changes in the form of government of one state, such as the replacement of a monarchy by a democratic form of government, do not modify or terminate the obligations incurred by the previous government.

When the state ceases to exist, however, the treaties it concluded generally are terminated and those of the successor state apply to the territory. These include political treaties like alliances, which depend on the existence of the state that concluded them. But certain obligations, such as agreements concerning boundaries or other matters of local significance, carry over to the successor state. More difficult to determine is the continuing legality of treaties granting concessions or contract rights. Scholarly opinion has diverged on this aspect of succession, and state practice has likewise divided. Consequently each case must be studied on its merits to determine whether the rights and duties under the contract or concession are such that the successor state is bound by the obligations of the previous state.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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It is the Vienna Convention on the Succession of States 1978, Article 11, that states:
This argument is rather weak, as Ethiopia had persistently objected to the treaties, and all upstream (and downstream) countries were under colonial rule and thus not legally bound by such treaties as newly independent countries; the "clean state" doctrine, as codified under Article 16 of the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect of Treaties of 1978, states that countries that have gained independence are not obliged to adhere to colonial treaties, excepting those concerning boundary issues.
"It's certainly the quickest succession of states that we've seen," Robert P.
The United Nations Draft Articles on Nationality of Natural Persons in relation to the Succession of States, taking into account international law in respect of the prevention of statelessness, sets out the obligations of states to its citizens and residents in territories affected by succession.
Two conventions have been proposed in order to govern this area as a matter of international law, the Vienna Convention on the Succession of States in Respect of Treaties, 1978 and the Vienna Convention on the Succession of States in Respect of State Property, Archives and Debt, 1983.
Chapters cover states and recognition; territory; jurisdiction; the law of treaties; diplomatic privileges and immunities; state immunity; nationality, aliens, and refugees; international organizations; the United Nations and the use of force; human rights; the law of armed conflict; international criminal law; terrorism; the law of the sea; international environmental law; international civil aviation; special regimes; international economic law; succession of states; state responsibility; settlement of disputes; and the European Union.
China is only the latest in a succession of states that have hitched their wagon to the American import engine.
It is possible to consider the evolution of the solid to the equilibrium state as a succession of states, for which the difference between the corresponding energies satisfies the condition [DELTA]E < 0, each energy corresponding to an admitted spatial configuration ([r.sub.i]), ([r.sub.j]), ....
Such a position may seem logical to the modern reader, as the Vienna Convention of the Succession of States in respect of Treaties, which entered into force in 1996, holds that "newly independent states" do not inherit treaty obligations concluded on their behalf by their predecessors.
The Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect of State Property, Archives, and Debts of 1983 (the 1983 Convention) indicates that decolonizations are sui generis, (83) and the rules of succession to debts in decolonizations do not apply to other forms of succession.