A critical review of the 'Nyerere Doctrine of State Succession'.

The relationship between international law and municipal or rather domestic law has been saddled by an array of conflicting ideas, notably with regards to the application of International law on an emerging state. This problem has manifested itself mostly in the African continent as a direct consequence of independence of African states. In simple and plain language one can submit that the main debate which troubles the minds of international lawyers, political leaders, as well as national courts is ‘what happens when a new state emerges? And whether should state be bound by international commitments of its predecessors? (UNEP official website). For the purpose of this essay first the meaning of state succession in the light of several ways in which a state can emerge will be given. Then the debate will shift to the main theme of this piece of work which is to discuss the validity of pre-existing international laws on a new emerged state. The discussion will entirely base on conflicting theories on the issue, one of which being the ‘optional doctrine’ or authoritatively known as ‘the Nyerere Doctrine of State Succession'.

State succession in layman’s terms can be equated to state emergence i. e a new state emerging out of a prior existing one. Tiyanjana argues that State succession is generally regarded as arising when there is a definitive replacement of one State by another in respect of sovereignty over a given territory. By virtue of a UNEP official website a state can emerge in several ways; A State can become independent from a colonial power, entering the community of nations as a peer (as was common in the three decades following World War II). States can be created with the dissolution of a former State (for example with the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia). States can also be created by combining previously independent states.

The problem of State succession and in particular the succession of newly independent States to pre-independence treaties has been of particular relevance to the African continent over a long period after independence (Tiyanjana Maluwa, International Law in Post-Colonial Africa). As cited in UNEP official website, the general principle with regards to succession is, when a new state emerges the principle of succession applies. This means that the new emerging State inherits the international obligations that its predecessor had made. This general principle testifies to the basic value of international society which emphasises the importance of continuation and stability of international order (Marco A. Alternative Approach to the International Law of State Succession). Such adherence to the doctrine of succession can be seen in the case of Nigeria, whereby Nigeria subjected itself to all the treaties and international commitments entered by its colonial masters (the British).

Nonetheless, while the doctrine of succession was adhered by such a nation as Nigeria, some other African countries opposed such a ‘political submissive approach’ thus opted to apply opposing doctrines such as clean-slate doctrine, and Nyerere doctrine of State succession. Commencing with the clean-slate doctrine, this is the one under which a new State starts without any of the obligations of the predecessor State. That is, the successor state acquires its territory with a clean-slate or tabulas rasa, therefore under no obligation to succeed pre-independence treaties. Such a doctrine was tipped to be used in Namibia by Makonnen’s when he urged that, following Namibia’s accession independence on 21, March 1990, as far as succession is concerned the most appropriate approach to be used should be the clean-slate doctrine. Tiyanjana Maluwa argues that Makonnen reached such a conclusion on the ground that all dealing by South Africa and other aliens concerning Namibia since October 1966 were illegal and therefore invalid, as a result of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (declaring the continuing South Africa occupation of the territory illegal). This conclusion is somewhat correct and arguably has been vindicated by Article 145 of the Namibian Constitution.

A major criticism to the clean-slate doctrine has been offered by Udokang when he argued that ‘abrupt discontinuity of all treaty obligations contracted by Predecessor State might well lead to a legal vacuum and serious confusion where the Successor State can find themselves isolated from international community. (Okon, Udokang. Succession of New States to International Treaties 19 (1972)).

The second conflicting doctrine to that of traditional adherence to succession is termed the ‘Nyerere doctrine of State succession’. Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanzania, considered that international agreements dating from colonial times should be renegotiated when a State becomes independent, as the nation should not be bound by something that the nation was not in a sovereign position to agree to at that time. According to this doctrine, a newly independent State can – upon independence – review the international treaties that it stands to inherit and decide which of the agreements it will accept and which it will repudiate. Although such an “optional” approach to events of State succession was not new and was already recognized by customary international law, Nyerere is recognized for the modern formulation of the optional doctrine of the law of State succession. It is worth mentioning that this doctrine came to existence after Nyerere (the Prime Minister of newly independent Tanganyika) made a unilateral declaration to the Acting general Secretary of the UN in 1961.

Further, with regards to multilateral treaties, the new government would review them and indicate to the depositary concerned what steps would be taken in relation to each such instrument, whether by way of confirmation of termination, confirmation of succession or accession. Nyerere doctrine is advantageous in several ways;

a) It allows states to fill the void created by the lapse of predecessor’s treaties while maintaining the right to examine each treaty individually before deciding whether to maintain such legal obligations.

b) With the above advantage, Nyerere doctrine is also important as it rectifies the aforementioned shortcomings with regards to negative succession or clean-slate doctrine.

c) Unlike the clean-slate doctrine under which a new State starts without any of the obligations of the predecessor State, Nyerere doctrine of succession however, does not rule out or prejudice the possibility or desirability of renewal (after a legal interruption during the succession) of commitments or agreements of mutual interest to the parties concerned.

I wouldn’t offer a conclusion as this was just an open debate on several approaches to State Succession, significantly the Nyerere doctrine of State succession. I hope the above piece of academic work offers good introduction, insight, as well understanding to the key issues revolving around the concept of succession.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

well put together. keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Brokersring.com - Learn how to turn $500 into $5,000 in a month!

[url=http://www.brokersring.com/]Make Money Online[/url] - The Secret Reveled with Binary Option

Binary Options is the way to [url=http://www.brokersring.com/]make money[/url] securely online

Anonymous said...

Hello, its good paragraph about media print, we all understand media is a wonderful source of information.



Here is my blog post calories walking

Anonymous said...

Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download
it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few
simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let
me know where you got your theme. Kudos

My blog; asian restaurant

Anonymous said...

Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn.
This is an extremely neatly written article. I'll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I will certainly comeback.

Here is my webpage :: Buy Garcinia cambogis

Anonymous said...

This excellent website certainly has all of the info I wanted concerning this
subject and didn't know who to ask.

my page :: Internet Money Path Reviews

Anonymous said...

I'm really inspired with your writing abilities and also with the structure in your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it is rare to look a great blog like this one nowadays..

Here is my web-site - School Relocation

Anonymous said...

Article writing is also a fun, if you know afterward you
can write if not it is complicated to write.

Also visit my homepage :: Rvtl

Anonymous said...

You've made some really good points there. I looked on the web to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

Review my page: Acne care

Anonymous said...

Exceptional post however , I was wondering if you could write
a litte more on this subject? I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!

My web page - Cosima revival

Anonymous said...

Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a
quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through
your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that
cover the same topics? Thanks a lot!

Also visit my blog; Beta Force And Max Thermo Burn

Anonymous said...

Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting
a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided
us useful information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!


Here is my weblog Nuvocleanse

Anonymous said...

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came to
“return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my
web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!



Review my blog - mitoslimblog.net

Anonymous said...

It's an awesome piece of writing in support of all the web visitors; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

My weblog; Goji Berry Diet

Anonymous said...

I enjoy what you guys are up too. Such clever work and coverage!
Keep up the good works guys I've you guys to my own blogroll.

Feel free to visit my weblog; Buy Test Force

Anonymous said...

These are really enormous ideas in regarding blogging.
You have touched some nice points here. Any
way keep up wrinting.

My website Buy Raspberry Ketone

Anonymous said...

I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such
detailed about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!

my homepage ... click this site

Anonymous said...

First of all I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question in which I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I've had trouble clearing my thoughts in
getting my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing
but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually
wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any ideas or hints? Many thanks!

Visit my web blog; Visit here

Anonymous said...

I want to to thank you for this good read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit
of it. I have you bookmarked to look at new things you post…

My web page: Makerting Video

Anonymous said...

Rather they were wicked tickets milwaukee 2013 to a whole new world of magic, mystery
and music that recaptured my childhood wonderment before the Wizard of Oz!
Wait, I know. Setting a budget of about sixty-five dollars a day
if traveling alone, this is a must-see show for the entire family!


my blog post tickets to wicked nyc discount

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I
definitely loved every bit of it. I have you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

My weblog ... the sims freeplay cheats

Anonymous said...

Other factors can be considered to be supplements that will
be available choose school this soup season. Can intelligence of animals be tested?
Baby PicturesPutting baby pictures of every middle school student as well as two
interactive ways to help your kids get excited about the Neve Brand.


Also visit my blog: Niepubliczne przedszkole

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just
your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all.
However think about if you added some great graphics or videos
to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could certainly be one of the very best in its
niche. Terrific blog!

Also visit my web site ... sewer cleaning New River

Anonymous said...

Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this web page,
for the reason that i want enjoyment, since this this web page conations
genuinely fastidious funny information too.


my web page ... fast way to lose 10 pounds in a week

Anonymous said...

Aw, this was a very goold post. Taking the time
and ctual effort to generate a good article… but what can I say…
I hesitate a lot and never maanage to get anything
done.

Feel free to surf to my web site African Mango Reviews

Anonymous said...

However, extremely common that at the start you need to
do so as a way to draw attention in your page. Money can purchase anything,
and this can be easily implemented on this piece of example.
The informed introduction received from numerous high-end advisable devices in your just conducted Mobile phone Surrounding This lawmakers options proposed that Acer
is usually forced again quite a few in terms of every high-end sensible dataphone
piece.

my webpage: ​seguidores instagram ()

Anonymous said...

I'm Victoria Terrazas. Filing is what i do for
a living but I've already applied for another
only. The favorite hobby for the children and
me is perform crochet there isn't any by no means give it up.
For years I've been living in South Carolina and his dad loves that.
You can find my website here: Miami Airport Parking

My homepage Mia Airport Parking

Anonymous said...

Does your website have a contact page? I'm having trouble locating it but,
I'd like to send you an email. I've got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.


Here is my site - nike jordan 11 retro