Territorial Leasing in Diplomacy and International Law

Territorial Leasing in Diplomacy and International Law focuses on an unexplored but relatively common practice in which states reallocate their rights on territory without altering formal boundaries or resorting to definitive cessions. As products of diplomacy, leases address a frequent situation that, in extreme cases, can lead to war: the desire by more than one state to exercise sovereign authority in the same place. As instruments of international law, they paradoxically reinforce the territorial integrity of states while raising questions about the nature of their sovereignty. This book draws from a large number of leases to examine the practice from historic to modern times, describing their elements in detail and assessing them from both political and legal perspectives.

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Michael J. Strauss, Ph.D. (2006), Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques, Paris, is Professor at that institution, teaching international relations and law. A specialist in territorial lease agreements, his numerous published works include The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay (Praeger, 2009).



Chapter 1.
Territorial Leases and Servitudes
Terminology in Disarray
Defining International Servitudes
Defining Territorial Leases
The Political Dimension
Variations in Territorial Leases
Why States Opt for Leases

Chapter 2.
Conceptual Sources
States and Territory
State-Territory Relationship Theories
Territorial Transactions as Property Transactions
The Components of State Territory as Property
The Duality of Territory as Property
Territory as Property – The Broader View
Title, Effective Control and Sovereignty

Chapter 3.
Historical Sources
The Origins of Territorial Leases
The First Known Lease: Babylonia
Medieval Leases in The Pyrenees
An Outpost of European Merchants: Macao
Leases with Territory as Collateral
Trading Companies and Leased Empires
Leases in Chinese Treaty Ports

Chapter 4.
Leases and Sovereignty Today
The Surge in Leasing Activity
Leased Territories in China
Coaling Stations and Maritime Trade
Systematic Leasing Programs
Challenges to the Lessor’s Sovereignty
The Theory of Disguised Cessions
The Qualities of Sovereignty

Chapter 5.
Structural Components
Affirmation of Sovereignty
Assignment of Rights
Jurisdictional Rights
Obligations of the Parties
Duration of the Lease
Compensation to the Lessor
A Widening Field of Options

Chapter 6.
Administration of Leased Territories
Management of the Lease
Compliance Procedures
Governing Leased Territories
Populations on Leased Territories
Managing International Obligations

Chapter 7.
Problematic Provisions
Transfer of Rights
Duration of the Lease
Compensation Issues

Chapter 8.
Altering and Ending Leases
Durational Elasticity
When Leases End
State Succession and Leases
Termination Agreements

Chapter 9.
Post-Termination Issues
Formerly Leased Zones
Assimilation with the Lessee State
Accommodating an Altered Territory

Chapter 10.
War and Occupation
Leased Territories in War
Leased Territory as Occupied Territory

Chapter 11.
Modern Trends in Territorial Leasing
Involvement of Non-State Actors
Oil and Other Natural Resource Leases
The OTRAG Lease
Leases of Foreign Agricultural Land
Leases of Sovereign Airspace

The Future of Territorial Leases

Published Works
Interviews with the Author
International Documents
Treaties and Conventions
Agreements between States and Non-State Actors
Cases Cited
Constitutions, Laws and Orders Cited

Scholars, diplomats, lawyers, journalists and students who seek a reference about the practice of leasing territory as an element of state conduct, international relations and international law.