Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of State Property, Archives and Debts
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 08/04/1983
- Place of signature: Vienna, Austria
- Depositary: Secretary General of the United Nations
- Date of entry into force: N/A
What is it about?
The 1983 Vienna Convention codifies laws applicable to State property, archives and debts following a State succession. State property is defined as the property, rights and interests that, at the date of the succession of States, were, according to the internal law of the predecessor State, owned by that State. Generally, the State that has control over the territory where the assets are located succeeds the previous State in ownership. A similar regime applies to archives. Regarding State debts, the rule of “equitable proportion” applies. When part of the territory of a State is transferred by that State to another State, the passing of the State debt is to be settled by agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, the State debt of the predecessor State passes to the successor State in “equitable proportion”, taking into account the property, rights and interests which pass to the successor State in relation to that State debt.
Why is it relevant?
The Treaty was inspired by the profound transformation of the international community brought about by the decolonization process. In the words of the International Law Commission, it addresses the “need for the codification and progressive development of the rules relating to succession of States in respect of State property, archives and debts as a means for ensuring greater juridical security in international relations”.
Some non-parties have cited complaint that the agreement does not adequately provide for debts owed by States to private individuals and corporations.
- Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (Vienna, 21 March 1986)
- Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties (Vienna, 23 August 1978)
- Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna, 23 May 1969)