Continuity and Succession

• Fundamental Distinction
– Continuity – same state continue to exist
– Succession – replacement of one state by another with respect to a particular territory
• In continuity – No question of succession of rights and obligation
• General rule is that – Internal changes of government do not affect a state’s identity .
– Claims by USSR of discontinuity with Tsarist Russia were rejected
• However, it may be problematic as concerns membership of IO
– Russia assumed USSR’s place as a permanent member of SC
– Contrast, Serbia-Montenegro was denied automatic UN membership as continuator of Yugoslavia
– Czech Republic and Slovakia agreed to re-apply to UN membership as newstates
• What distinguishes continuity and succession ?
– Formal Independence
– Basic criteria of statehood (continuity of territory and population)
• Int’l community accepted the Russian assertion made in communications to UN and circular note to all states that Russia was continuator of former Soviet Union.
• Also accepted by UN SC
• Russia assumed all treaty obligations and consolidated the debts and property abroad of USSR.
Former Yugoslavia
• Disintegration of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro
• Fed. Rep. of Yugoslavia declared that it was sole successor of the former Yugoslavia
• Unacceptable to European community
• Yugoslavia was prevented from exercising many of its rights as member of UN
• Not effecting for the time being its status as party to
Statute of ICJ
• 2001 ICJ in case Genocide Case (Bosnia v. Yugoslavia)
– Yugoslavia is party to Genocide Conv. Because it has declared its intention to be bound with treaties concluded
by former Yugoslavia.