Cession , Acquisition of territory in International Law - Lex Animata - By Hesham Elrafei
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modes of acquiring territory in public international law: Cession By Hesham Elrafei
1 A territory, is the material evidence of state sovereignty , as its not possible to have a state without a land.
2 And it includes the land , the subsoil, the water, the seacoast , and the airspace over the land ,
3 and the territorial waters, which extends to almost 14 miles from the coast. baseline .
4 There are number of ways in which a territory can be acquired
5 Like the effective Occupation of a land, that belongs to no one, (V: terra nullius ) ,
6 The Incorporation , which means the whole of a State’s territory , becoming part of the territory of another State.
7 The annexation , where a territory is taken away from a State, without its approval.
8 The secession , where part of a country , separates itself and becomes an independent State.
9 a concession , where a part of a country , is administered by an entity other than the state , which holds sovereignty over it
10 and Cession , where the territory becomes part of an existing country,
11 by peacefully transferring its ownership , from one State to another , with the consent of both countries. ( based on mutual consent )
12 Cession can occur in exchange for a payment of money ,
13 like the louisiana purchase agreement , between france and the united states,
( like the US bought Louisiana from France, Alaska from Russia, and the Philippines from Spain ) ,
14 or in exchange for another piece of territory ,
Like when britain ceded Heligoland to Germany, in exchange for Zanzibar
15 In contrast, when a country leases territory from another, it only receives the right to exercise the territorial authority.
16 while full sovereignty remains with the original owner,
17 like in the case of Hong Kong , Macau, and Guantánamo Bay .
18 On the other hand, A cession requires the consent of both States involved,
19 including consent of the population affected by the transfer of territory, As part of people's right to self-determination ,
20 which is universally recognized as a jus cogens norm.
21 The process normally takes place by means of a treaty ,
22 and its effects are opposable to all third States .
23 However , certain parts of a State’s territory , by their nature, cannot be ceded
24 like the territorial sea , and the airspace above it
today, cession is mostly used as a technique of boundaries modification, between neighbouring States.
26 And its main legal effect, is the replacement of one State by another , in the rights and responsibility , of the territory in question.
27 therefore the grantee state is responsible toward other states , for everything that happens on the territory
28 That includes, any damage that may arise from acts , or the failure to act on that territory.
29 Like the Liability for Environmental Damage ,
30 or the obligation that the territory will not be used for private acts of violence or terrorism, against other States .
31 The legal effect of cession , also means the passing of State property , State debts and nationality of the population,
32 Of the predecessor to the successor State,
Regarding needing land for a State, James Crawford expressed in, "The Creation of States in International Law 2nd Edition", that land/pieces of dirt may not be necessary for Statehood and Independence:
"Chapter 2: The Criteria for Statehood: Statehood as Effectiveness
2.2 - The classical criteria for statehood: ex factis jus oritur
The requirement that a putative State have an effective government might be regarded as central to its claim to statehood. 'Government' or 'effective government' is evidently a basis for the other central criterion of independence. Moreover, international law defines 'territory' not by adopting private law analogies of real property but by reference to the extent of governmental power exercised, or capable of being exercised, with respect to some territory and population. Territorial sovereignty is not ownership of but governing power with respect to territory. There is thus a good case for regarding government as the most important single criterion for statehood, since all the others depend upon it. This is equally true for external as internal affairs. Governmental authority is the basis for normal inter-State relations; what is an act of a State is defined primarily by reference to its organs of government, legislative, executive or judicial.
 - It is clear that 'government' and 'independence' are closely related as criteria---in fact they may be regarded as different aspects of the requirement of effective separate control. For present purposes, government is treated as the exercise of authority with respect to persons and property within the territory of the State; whereas independence is treated as the exercise, or the right to exercise, such authority with respect to other States. Other writers draw a similar distinction but in different terms: e.g., Wheaton ('internal' and 'external' sovereignty); Kamanda Legal Status of Protectorates, 175-82 ('sovereignty' (internal) and 'independence' (external))."
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