- Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Christian J. Tams, Antonios Tzanakopoulos and Andreas Zimmermann
Chapter 17: Succession to treaties and the inherent limits of international law
It is almost mandatory to start any chapter on State succession to treaties by reasserting that it is one of the most opaque areas of international law, lacking both a basis in consistent State practiceas well as satisfactory theoretical underpinnings. Whilst this may be a mere statement of the obvious, today the basic point remains, namely that the law on State succession in relation to treaties is, to say the least, far from settled. In fact, despite significant codification attempts undertaken by the international community in the 1970s, and the substantial body of literature on State succession generally, there continues to exist ‘an almost total doctrinal schism’. Today one might still get the impression that every ‘international lawyer seeking a way out of this marshland is as likely as ever to be led into the centre of the miry bog itself’. With the impression that ‘the more that is written on the subject, the less clear or coherent the whole becomes’ very much in mind, this contribution nevertheless undertakes the (Sisyphean) task to provide clarity and a straightforward analysis of this often vexing area of international law starting with an analysis of the very notion of State succession before then turning to the historical development of the concept in relation to treaties.
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