Research Handbook on Territorial Disputes in International Law
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Research Handbook on Territorial Disputes in International Law

Edited by Marcelo G. Kohen and Mamadou Hébié

Despite globalization and the increasingly transnational character of human activities, territorial disputes remain a significant source of tensions in international relations and constitute a large share of inter-state cases brought before international tribunals and courts. The Research Handbook on Territorial Disputes in International Law analyses the concepts, technical rules, and norms applicable to territorial disputes.
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Chapter 2: The acquisition of original titles of territorial sovereignty in the law and practice of European colonial expansion

Mamadou Hébié

Abstract

In this chapter, Mamadou Hébié examines whether colonial powers established territorial sovereignty during colonial expansion through original titles. This chapter analyses the legal significance of papal bulls, discovery, symbolic acts, occupation and effective occupation in the light of the international practice relating to colonialism. It determines which territories were concerned as terrae nullius, and inquires whether the right of local political entities to the sovereignty over their territories was recognized.

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