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.

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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.
1980) lacks any provisions relating to the succession of states in
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.
A newly independent State is not bound to maintain in force, or to become a party to, any treaty by reason only of the fact that at the date of the succession of States the treaty was in force in respect of the territory to which the succession of States relates.
Succession of States in cases of separation of parts of a State
a) any treaty in force at the date of the succession of States in respect of the entire territory of the predecessor State continues in force in respect of each successor State so formed;
It functioned as a contested periphery, frontier or buffer zone for a succession of states (Mitanni, Hittite, Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek and Persian).
The documents are reports to the Commission by different special rapporteurs on the following topics: state responsibility; international liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law (prevention of transboundary damage from hazardous activities), reservations to treaties, nationality in relation to the succession of states, diplomatic protection, and unilateral acts of states.