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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:International law and the acquisition of colonial territories in Africa
Author:Anyangwe, C.ISNI
Periodical:Zambia Law Journal
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:State succession
international law
Abstract:The assumption by European powers of sovereignty over territories in Africa in the nineteenth century was apparently consistent with the international law of the time. That law provided a cloak for the legal validation of title to territory acquired abroad by European powers, companies and individuals. It legitimized the result of the exercise of power, as in the case of acquisition of territory by conquest or forced cession. Soon after achieving independence, African States expressed disillusionment with certain rules of international law which, they argued, reflected a European perspective. In particular, new States rejected the then existing law of State succession and refused to consider themselves bound by international treaties entered into by their former parent States. Generally speaking, this related primarily to succession in respect of 'political' and 'economic' treaties. Succession to territorially grounded treaties was generally accepted. The newly independent African States have subscribed to the principle of 'uti possidetis juris' and refrained from challenging the colonially inherited territorial status quo. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]