Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect of Treaties

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Vienna, Austria
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 06/11/1996

Category

Treaties law

Sub category

General

Groups

What is it about?

This instrument, initiated by the International Law Commission (ILC), aims at regulating the fate of treaties in instances of State succession (it acts in situations in which one State substitutes another in the responsibility for the international relations of a territory). The Convention of 1978 envisions two situations: first successions that only concern one part of a territory (when the successor is not a new State), and second successions which lead to the creation of States. In the first case, treaties concluded by the successor State are extended to the transferred territory to which the treaties of the predecessor applied (principle of automatic extension). In the second case, the successor state is a non-member state with respect to the treaties of the predecessor. It cannot, except in particular cases, receive its benefits (principle of intransmissibility). The provisions of this instrument regulate both bilateral treaties and multilateral treaties.

Why is it relevant?

The 1978 Vienna Convention makes it possible to determine which are the obligations which international law imposes on States successors as regards treaties. Many of its provisions are drawn from customary international law. This convention, initially adopted in order to answer the difficulties caused by the appearance of new States following colonization, has seen its utility reinforced during the recent creation of states following the dissolution of the USSR and that of Yugoslavia.

Additional Information

The 1978 Convention is limited to the succession of states in respect of treaties. The effect of State succession in other matters (property, archives, state debts) is covered by the Convention on Succession of States in respect of State Property, Archives and Debts (Vienna, April 8, 1983).

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Bosnia and Herzegovina22/07/1993
Croatia22/10/1992
Cyprus12/03/2004
Czech Republic26/07/1999
Dominica24/06/1988
Ecuador25/07/2006
Egypt17/07/1986
Estonia21/10/1991
Ethiopia28/05/1980
Iraq05/12/1979
Liberia16/09/2005
Macedonia (The former Yugoslav Republic of)07/10/1996
Montenegro23/10/2006
Morocco31/03/1983
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines27/04/1999
Serbia12/03/2001
Seychelles22/02/1980
Slovakia24/04/1995
Slovenia06/07/1992
Tunisia16/09/1981
Ukraine26/10/1992
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
19791
19802
19811
19831
19861
19881
19911
19923
19931
19951
19961
19992
20011
20041
20051
20062
Total21
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