State Succession to State Contracts: A New Framework of Analysis for an Unexplored Question

In: The Journal of World Investment & Trade
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  • 1 University of Ottawa, Canada

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Abstract

This article examines the surprisingly unexplored question of State succession to State contracts. It argues that the successor State is not bound by such contracts. The article puts forward a new framework of analysis with regards to this question emphasizing on the importance of two elements. First, the solution depends on the type of succession involved. The analysis shows that, while the principle of succession is firmly established for certain types (cession of territory, unification, integration), it is not for others (secession and dissolution). Second, the solution depends on a number of different factors and circumstances, including the existence of a ‘territorial nexus’ between a contract and the successor State, whether the contract was signed by an organ of a territorial unit of the predecessor State which has a structural continuity with the successor State, and the need to avoid any situation of unjust enrichment.