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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Territory, Acquisition

Marcelo G Kohen, Mamadou Hébié

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 June 2020

Subject(s):
Foreign relations law — Secession — Sovereignty — Territory, acquisition and transfer — Territory, title — Territory, non-self-governing

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The expression ‘acquisition of territory’ is usually employed as meaning the establishment of sovereignty over a given piece of land. Well-known UN Security Council resolutions refer to ‘acquisition of territory’ in this manner, notably Resolution 242 (1967). The expression, however, requires some precision. First, strictly speaking, ‘territory’ as a term of art comprises not only emerged land, but also airspace, the territorial sea, and internal waters. However, what is essentially at issue in the ‘acquisition of territory’ is the acquisition of (emerged) land,...
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