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Last update: December 4, 2017

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

Succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties

See also: Summary | Texts and Instruments

Mandate

Studies undertaken by the Secretariat and Reports of the Secretary-General

  • 22nd session of the International Law Commission (1970)
    • Supplement, prepared by the Secretariat, to the "Digest of the decisions of international tribunals relating to State Succession"
  • 24th session of the International Law Commission (1972)
    • Supplement, prepared by the Secretariat, to Materials on succession of States (U.N. publication, Sales No. E/F.68.V.5)
  • A/CN.4/263 (mimeograph)
  • 30th session of the International Law Commission (1978)
    • Materials on Succession of States in Respect of Matters other than Treaties (United Nations Legislative Series)
  • ST/LEG/SER.B/17 (United Nations publication, Sales No.E/F.77.V.9)
  • ILC Report, A/33/10, 1978, chap. IV(A)(1), para. 115

Reports of the Working Group or Sub-Committee

None

Reports of the Special Rapporteur

  • Preliminary questions: title and scope of the topic; general definition of State succession; method of work; form of the work; origins and types of State succession; specific problems of new States; judicial settlement of disputes; order of priority or choice of certain aspects of the topic.
    • First Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (20th session of the ILC (1968))
  • Economic and financial acquired rights and State succession.
    • Second Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (21st session of the ILC (1969))
  • Four draft articles: Definition (art.1), difference between State property appertaining to sovereignty and of territory ceded (art.2); public archives, artwork, etc. (art.7); public property of the ceded territory which is situated outside it (art.8).
    • Third Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (22nd session of the ILC (1970))
  • Fifteen draft articles on succession in respect of public property, with commentaries.
    • Fourth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (23rd session of the ILC (1971))
  • Amended draft articles contained in the third and fourth report. Public property.
    • Fifth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (24th session of the ILC (1972))
  • Revised and recast draft articles into two series: Preliminary provisions (arts.1–3) and substantive articles (arts.4–40).
    • Sixth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (25th session of the ILC (1973))
  • 22 draft articles on succession of State property, with commentaries.
    • Seventh Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (26th session of the ILC (1974))
  • 6 draft articles (arts.12–17) on succession of State property, with commentaries.
    • Eighth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (28th session of the ILC (1976))
  • 20 draft articles: sec.1, General provisions (arts. O, R, S, T, U, C &D); sec.2, Provisions relating to each type of succession of States, sub-sec. 1, Transfer of part of the territory of a State, (arts. X, Y, Z, YZ, A, B, L, L1, &M); sub-sec.2, Newly independent States (arts. F, G &H); sub-sec.3, uniting of States (art. W).
    • Ninth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (28th session of the ILC (1977))
  • Three chapters: I — Uniting of States, II — Separation of a part or parts of the territory of a State, III — Dissolution of a State. Draft articles, with commentaries, on succession to State debts.
    • Tenth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (30th session of the ILC (1978))
  • Draft articles, with commentaries, on succession in respect of State archives, including the text of six additional articles.
    • Eleventh Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (31st session of the ILC (1979))
  • Draft articles on Succession to State archives in cases of succession other than decolonization.
    • Twelfth Report of the Special Rapporteur Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (32nd session of the ILC (1980))
  • The report summarized the written comments by Governments as well as those made orally in the General Assembly, and contained proposals for new articles G, H, I, J, and K on State archives, and 17 bis on State debts.
    • Thirteenth report of the Special Rapporteur Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (33rd session of the ILC (1981))

Reports of the Drafting Committee

  • 25th session of the International Law Commission (1973)
    • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties: titles of the draft articles, the introduction, part I and section 1, and articles 1–8 adopted by the Drafting Committee
  • 27th session of the International Law Commission (1975)
    • Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: arts. 3(e), 9, 11 and X
  • 28th session of the International Law Commission (1976)
    • Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: title of section 2 of part I and articles 3(f) and 12–16
  • 29th session of the International Law Commission (1977)
    • Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: articles 17–22 and titles of the corresponding part and sections of the draft, and revised text of article 20
  • 30th session of the International Law Commission (1978)
    • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties. Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: articles 23–25
  • 31st session of the International Law Commission (1979)
    • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties: Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee — articles 2–8, X and 12–25, and titles of the corresponding parts and sections of the draft
  • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties: Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee — articles 1 to 23 and titles of the corresponding parts and sections of the draft
  • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties: Draft articles relating to succession to State archives — articles A and C adopted by the Drafting Committee
  • 32nd session of the International Law Commission (1980)
    • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties — draft articles on succession to State archives: Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: Articles C, D, E and F
  • 33rd session of the International Law Commission (1981)
    • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of State property, archives and debts. Texts proposed by the Drafting Committee: Articles 1 to 3, 3 bis, 3 ter, 4 to 17, 17 bis, and 18 to 23
  • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of State property, archives and debts. Texts proposed by the Drafting Committee: Articles G to K and A
  • Draft articles on succession of States in respect of State property, archives and debts. Texts proposed by the Drafting Committee: Articles 3 quater, L and B to F

Comments by Governments

  • 36th session of the International Law Commission (1981)
    • Comments of Governments on the draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties adopted by the International Law Commission at its thirty-first and thirty-second sessions

Other

  • 23rd session of the International Law Commission (1971)
    • Letter dated 10 May 1971 from Mr. Shabtai Rosenne to the Chairman of the International Law Commission
  • 24th session of the International Law Commission (1972)
    • Letter dated 18 February 1972 from Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui to the Chairman of the International Law Commission
  • 24th session of the International Law Commission (1972)
    • Letter dated 30 March 1972 from Mr. Abdullah El-Erian to the Chairman of the International Law Commission
  • 24th session of the International Law Commission (1972)
    • Letter dated 31 March 1972 from Mr. Mustafa K. Yasseen to the Chairman of the International Law Commission
  • 25th session of the International Law Commission (1973)
    • New wording of article 9 submitted by the Special Rapporteur
  • 27th session of the International Law Commission (1975)
    • Texts adopted by the Commission: arts. 3(e), 9, 11 and X
    • New article proposed by the Special Rapporteur
  • 29th session of the International Law Commission (1977)
    • Article on newly independent States proposed by Mr. Ushakov
    • Article 22 proposed by Mr Schwebel
  • 30th session of the International Law Commission (1978)
    • Draft articles on succession of States: memorandum submitted by Mr. Tsuruoka regarding article 23, paragraph 2, adopted by the Commission
  • 31st session of the International Law Commission (1979)
    • Succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties — draft articles relating to succession to State archives: Text of articles X, Y and Z proposed by Mr. Tsuruoka

Reports of the International Law Commission

  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its nineteenth session, 8 May to 14 July 1967
    • After dividing the topic of Succession of States and Governments into three headings: a) Succession in respect of treaties; b) Succession in respect of rights and duties resulting from sources other than treaties and c) Succession in respect of membership of international organizations, the Commission decided to appoint Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui as Special Rapporteur on the topic of succession in respect of rights and duties resulting from sources other than treaties.
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twentieth session, 27 May to 2 August 1968
    • Reached conclusions on the following preliminary questions: a) title and scope of the topic; b) general definition of State succession; c) method of work; d) form of the work; e) origins and types of State succession; f) specific problems of new States; g) judicial settlements of disputes; h) particular comments by some members on certain aspects of the topic; I) order of priority or choice of certain aspects of the topic.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 960th, 961st, 962nd, 963rd, 964th and 965th meetings (24 June to 1 July 1968)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-first session, 2 June to 8 August 1969
    • Discussed the second report of the Special Rapporteur: general views on the scope, approach and conclusions of the report submitted by the Special Rapporteur; the succession of States and the problem of acquired rights; economic and financial acquired rights and specific problems of new States; succession in economic and financial matters as a question of continuity or discontinuity of legal situations existing prior to the succession; relationship between succession in economic and financial matters, the rules governing the treatment of aliens and the topic of State responsibility.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1000th, 1001st, 1002nd and 1003rd meetings (16 to 19 June 1969), and 1005th, 1006th, 1007th, 1008th and 1009th meetings (20 to 26 June 1969)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-second session, 4 May to 10 July 1970
    • The Special Rapporteur submitted his third report containing four draft articles with commentaries. The Commission was unable to discuss the Special Rapporteur's report.
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-third session, 26 April to 30 June 1971
    • The Special Rapporteur submitted his fourth report. Due to time constraints the Commission was unable to consider it.
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-fourth session, 2 May to 7 July 1972
    • The Special Rapporteur submitted his fifth report. Due to time constraints the Commission was unable to consider it.
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-fifth session, 7 May to 13 July 1973
  • Discussed the sixth report of the Special Rapporteur. Decided that, in view of the complexity of the subject, to limit its study for the time being to the question of property of States. Adopted on first reading eight articles: Introduction (arts.1–3); Part I (Succession to State property), general provisions (arts.4–8), with commentaries.
  • Discussion in Plenary: 1219th, 1220th, 1221st, 1222nd, 1223rd, 1224th, 1225th, 1226th, 1227th, 1228th, 1229th, 1230th, 1231st, and 1232nd meetings (4 to 22 June 1973), 1238th, 1239th and 1240th meetings (2 to 4 July 1973)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-sixth session, 6 May to 26 July 1974
    • The Special Rapporteur submitted his seventh report. Due to time constraints the Commission was unable to consider it.
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-seventh session, 5 May to 25 July 1975
    • The Commission referred a set of draft articles contained in the Special Rapporteur's seventh report to the Drafting Committee. It however reserved its position on proposed art.10. On the basis of the Drafting Committee's report it adopted on first reading articles 9, 11 and X, Y, and 3(e) concerning rights in respect of the authority to grant concessions, together with commentaries.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1318th, 1319th, 1320th, 1321st, 1322nd, 1323rd, 1324th, 1325th, 1326th, 1327th, 1328th, 1329th and 1330th meetings (29 May to 16 June 1975),and 1351st meeting (16 July 1975)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-eighth session, 3 May to 23 July 1976
    • The Commission considered the Special Rapporteur's eighth report. On the basis of the report of the Drafting Committee, it adopted on first reading sub-paragraph (f) of art.3, arts.12–16, with commentaries.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1389th, 1390th, 1391st, 1392nd, 1393rd, 1394th, 1395th, 1396th, 1397th, 1398th, 1399th and 1400th meetings (14 to 29 June 1976), and 1405th meeting (13 July 1976)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-ninth session, 9 May to 29 July 1977
    • The Special Rapporteur submitted his ninth report dealing with succession of States to State Debts. The Commission referred the draft articles to the drafting Committee, and adopted on first reading articles 17 to 22, with commentaries.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1416th, 1417th and 1418th meetings (11 to 13 May 1977), 1420th, 1421st, 1422nd, 1423rd, 1424th, 1425th, 1426th, 1427th and 1428th meetings (16 to 26 May 1977), 1443rd, 1444th and 1445th meetings (20 to 22 June 1977), 1447th meeting (27 June 1977), and 1449th and 1450th meetings (29 and 30 June 1977)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-first session, 14 May to 3 August 1979
    • The Commission completed the first reading of the draft articles on succession of States in respect of State property and State debts, as well as articles A and B on State archives, with commentaries. The Commission also decided to transmit the draft articles to Member States for their observations.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1560th, 1561st, 1562nd, 1563rd, 1564th and 1565th meetings (26 June to 3 July 1979), 1568th, 1569th and 1570th meetings (13 to 17 July 1979), and 1581st meeting (1 August 1979)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-second session, 5 May to 25 July 1980
    • The Commission adopted articles C, D, E and F with commentaries, thus completing the first reading of the series of draft articles on succession in respect of State archives. It also transmitted the draft articles to Member States, through the Secretary-General, for their observations.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1602nd, 1603rd, 1604th, 1605th and 1606th meetings (3 to 6 June 1980) and 1627th meeting (7 July 1980)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-third session, 4 May to 24 July 1981
    • The Commission re-examined the draft articles in light of the comments of Governments and considered the report of the Special Rapporteur. It adopted the final text of its draft articles on succession of States in respect of State property, archives and debts, as a whole, with commentaries. It also submitted the draft articles to the General Assembly, through the Secretary-General, with the recommendation that the Assembly invite Member States for their written comments and observations on the draft articles. In addition, the Commission recommended that a conference of plenipotentiaries be convened to study the draft and conclude a convention on the subject.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1658th, 1659th, 1660th, 1661st and 1662th meetings (25 to 29 May 1981), 1671st, 1672nd and 1675th meetings (15, 16 and 19 June 1981), 1688th, 1689th and 1690th meetings (10 to 14 July 1981), and 1692nd and 1694th meetings (16 and 20 July 1981)

General Assembly Action

  • Resolution 2634 (XXV) of 12 November 1970
    • Recommended that the Commission continue its work with a view to making "progress in the consideration of succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties".
 
  • Resolution 32/151 of 19 December 1977
    • The Commission should so proceed in an endeavour to complete the first reading of the set of articles concerning State property and State debts.
 
  • Resolution 33/139 of 19 December 1978
    • Recommended that the Commission continue its work with the aim of completing the first reading of the draft articles
 
  • Resolution 34/141 of 17 December 1979
    • Recommended that the Commission continue its work with the aim of completing, at its thirty-second session, the study of the question of archives and, at its thirty-third session, the second reading of the entire draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties.
 
  • Resolution 35/163 of 15 December 1980
    • Recommended that, taking into account the written comments of Governments and views expressed in debates in the General Assembly, the Commission should, at its thirty-third session, complete as recommended in resolution 34/141, the second reading of the draft articles on succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties adopted at its thirty-first and thirty-second sessions.
 

Final Outcome

International Law Commission (33rd session, 1981)

  • Recommended the convening of an international conference of plenipotentiaries

General Assembly

  • Resolution 36/113 of 10 December 1981
    • Decided to convene an international conference of plenipotentiaries to consider the draft articles on succession of States in respect of State property, archives and debts and to embody the results in an international convention and such other instruments as it might deem appropriate. It also invited Member States to submit their written comments and observations on the final draft articles.
  • Resolution 37/11 of 15 November 1982
 

1 Initially considered under the rubric of "Succession of States and Governments", which was divided into three topics in 1967, the second being "Succession of States in Respect of Matters other than Treaties".

2 The Conference was held at Vienna as scheduled, and resulted in the adoption of the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of State Property, Archives and Debts, 1983.