Succession of States Relating to Treaties and the Case of Secession: From the Principle of Tabula Rasa to the Emergence of a Presumption of Continuity of Treaties (La Succession D'Etats En Matiere De Traites Et Le Cas De La Secession: Du Principe De La Table Rase a L'Emergence D'Une Presomption De Continuite Des Traites)
Revue Belge de droit international, Vol. 2, pp. 377-412, 2003
19 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2008 Last revised: 29 Nov 2014
Date Written: October 28, 2008
This paper examines the question of State succession to multilateral treaties in the context of secession. This paper first deals with the definition of secession and distinguish it from other types of State succession. It also briefly examines State practice on State succession to treaties in the context of the dissolution of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. We then examine State practice in the context of the secession of Pakistan, Singapore and Bangladesh. The drafting history of Article 34 of the 1978 Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect of Treaties is studied in details. We also examine the official position adopted by the Government of Quebec on State succession to treaties in the context of the 1995 referendum. Our conclusion is that no customary rule of international law has yet emerged in the context of secession. However, there is an emerging presumption in favour of the continuity of multilateral treaties.
Keywords: State succession, treaty, secession, Quebec, Vienna Convention, continuity
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