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Prescription (sovereignty transfer)

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Title: Prescription (sovereignty transfer)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Prescription, Disputed status of the isthmus between Gibraltar and Spain, Sovereignty, Toledo War, International law
Collection: International Law, Legal Terms, Sovereignty
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Prescription (sovereignty transfer)

Prescription, in international law, is sovereignty transfer of a territory by the open encroachment by the new sovereign upon the territory for a prolonged period of time, acting as the sovereign, without protest or other contest by the original sovereign. It is analogous to the common law doctrine of easement by prescription for private real estate. This doctrine legalizes de jure the de facto transfer of sovereignty caused in part by the original sovereign's extended negligence and/or neglect of the area in question.


  • Randall Lesaffer, "Argument from Roman Law in Current International Law: Occupation and Acquisitive Prescription."[1]
  • Government of Belize article[2]


  1. ^ The European Journal of International Law Vol. 16 no.1
  2. ^ Belize – Guatemala Relations
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