2 State Succession Definition Sources: Brownlee: Replacement of one state by another in respect of sovereignty over the territoryVienna Convention: “succession of States” means the replacement of one State by another in the responsibility for the international relations of territorySources:Convention: Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect of Treaties (1978), effective 1996Customary International Law
3 State Succession Problems: 2 differing principles: Is successor state bound by all or any treaties of the predecessor?Do the people automatically become nationals of the successor state?Is the successor state affected by claims or debts of predecessors?What happens to public and private property?2 differing principles:Roman Law (Continuation) – New state continues the legal personality of the predecessor‘Clean Slate’ principle – New state acquires sovereignty free from encumbrances created by the predecessor stateMuch depends on circumstances of the particular case as to if it will be a continuation or a ‘clean slate’ state
4 State Succession How? Dismemberment of existing state Soviet Union to Russian Federation (continuation)Yugoslavia into Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia = new independent states (Clean-slate)Secession – withdrawing from a territoryBelgium (1830) from NetherlandsBangladesh from PakistanDecolonizationIndia – remained same legal entity as British India (Continuation)Pakistan – became a totally new state (‘clean slate’)Merger of existing StatesYemen Arab Republic and People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen – Merged and became the Republic of Yemen (new State)German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) – Merged and remained the FRG (Continuation)Partial cession or annexation of territoryHawaii
5 Yugoslavia Dismemberment Bosnia-Hercegovina = referendum for independenceSlovenia, Croatia and Bosnia = recognized by European Community and other states and admitted to UNSerbia and Montenegro = new state called the “Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” in continuation of the former (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) SFRYClaim opposed by other former republics of the SFRY and by the international community – and SC res. 777 declared that SFRY ceased to exist and that ‘the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) cannot continue automatically the membership of SFRY in the UN-Changed position in 2000 and requested admission to the UN as a new member
6 State Succession State Property Public Law Claims Generally accepted to be ceded to the successor along with territory and sovereignty, unless cultural heritage or similar casesPublic Law ClaimsGenerally accepted that successor state has a right to take up fiscal claims belonging to former stateExample: Collecting TaxesPublic Debt – More controversialContinuation = successor should assume public debts‘clean slate’ = sometimes remains with predecessor state, sometimes taken up by the successor state.State Contracts (Treaties, etc.)Article 16 states that newly independent states (decolonized states) receive a "clean slate", whereas article 34(1) states that all other new states remain bound by the treaty obligations of the state from which they separated.State Property: Example = I own entire block, one of the houses succeeds by decolonization. State Property would probably be the refrigerator, couches, beds, sink, toilet, etc. Would that still be mine or would it go to the new house owner?Public Debt: Same example of the house. Say the house owes money for the electric bill and water bill… who should have to pay?State Contracts (treaties): Same example of the house. What if the previous owner made a deal with the neighbor to not make a lot of noise after 10pm, or to keep the tree trimmed, or to not build a second story which will block their view of the sunset? Would I still be bound by the same obligations of the previous owner or have a clean slate?
7 State Succession Nationality Population follows the change of sovereigntyTreaty of Peace with Italy (1947)Inhabitants of territory will become citizens of transferee with a right of option givenMinorities Treaty signed at Versailles:Poland admits and declares to be Polish Nationals ‘ipso facto.’ New nationals can declare abandonment of Polish nationality within 2 yrs.U.N. CharterChange of Sovereignty doesn’t give new sovereign the right to dispose of the populationHuman Rights PerspectiveTo prevent Stateless peoples, nationality shall be given by new sovereignProblems to address by government of Successor State:Alien residents in territoryBorn abroad of parents who are nationals of former regimeDual nationality with former regime
8 State Succession Other Provisions Even if a ‘clean slate’ state, they are still bound by ‘General International LawLike Convention on the High SeasMust conform to Boundary Treaties, even if treaty ceases to existMust conform with existing principles of Jus Cogens