The Legal Construct of Historic Title to Territory in International Law – An Overview
Polish Yearbook of International Law, vol. 30 (2010), pp. 61-100
40 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2012
Date Written: 2010
Historic title is just one of many legal instruments which may be raised by parties and used by judges to decide a territorial dispute. If a claim of historic title in given circumstances may be deemed to have been extinguished as a result of its relative weakness, the elements advanced in support of its construction, for example uti possidetis or effective occupation, may be used to support other types of legal claims.
Taking into account its construction and its systemic conditional criteria, historic title gains maximum effectiveness when conditions exist which would support a finding of its incremental consolidation. This involves a multi-dimensional interpretation in reliance on particular elements which, taken together, create a complicated factual state in a particular territorial dispute. On the other hand, consolidation of historic title is not an argument which can be used by the indigenous native inhabitants of a territory, since their arguments are not based on claims of sovereignty.
Keywords: historic title, international law, customary law, territory
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation