Condominium (international law)

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In international law, a condominium (plural either condominia, as in Latin, or condominiums) is a political territory (state or border area) in or over which two or more sovereign powers formally agree to share equally dominium (in the sense of sovereignty) and exercise their rights jointly, without dividing it up into 'national' zones.

Although a condominium has always been recognized as a theoretical possibility, condominia have been rare in practice. A major problem, and the reason why so few have existed in practice, is the difficulty of ensuring co-operation between the sovereign powers; once the understanding fails, the status is likely to become untenable.

The word is recorded in English since c. 1714, from Modern Latin, apparently coined in Germany c. 1700 from Latin com- "together" + dominium "right of ownership" (compare domain).

Current condominia

  • The Moselle River and its tributaries, the Sauer and the Our, constitute a condominium between Luxembourg and Germany, which share bridges and at least the tip of one island, Staustufe Apach,1 near Schengen (the rest of the island is in France). The condominium was established by treaty in 1816.
  • Pheasant Island (also known as Conference Island, Konpantzia in Basque, Île de la Conférence in French or Isla de los Faisanes in Spanish) in the River Bidassoa between France and Spain. It was established by the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659.
  • A small area (Hadf and surroundings) on the Arabian Peninsula is jointly ruled by Oman and the Emirati member state of Ajman.citation neededdubious 2
  • El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua exercise a tridominium over parts of the Gulf of Fonseca and of the territorial sea outside its mouth.345
  • Austria and Germany consider themselves, together with Switzerland, to hold a tridominium (albeit on different grounds) over the main part of Lake Constance (without its islands). On the other hand, Switzerland holds the view that the border runs through the middle of the lake.67 Hence no international treaty establishes where the borders of Switzerland, Germany, and Austria in or around Lake Constance lie.7
  • The part of the Paraná River between the Salto Grande de Sete Quedas and the mouth of the Iguassu River is shared in condominium by Brazil and Paraguay.
  • Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina forms part of both the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Jamaica and Colombia share a maritime condominium (called a "Joint Regime Area") by mutual agreement as an alternative to delimiting their sea boundary. The outer portion of the EEZ of each country otherwise would overlap in this area. Unlike other "joint development zones," this condominium appears not to have been purposed simply as a way to divide oil, fisheries or other resources.

Co-principality

Under French law, Andorra was once considered to be a French–Spanish condominium, although it is more commonly classed as a co-principality, since it is itself a sovereign state, not a possession of one or more foreign powers, even though the quality of Head of State is shared ex officio by two foreigners, one of which being the President of France, currently François Hollande.citation needed

Former condominia

Proposed condominia

  • In 2001, the British government held discussions with Spain with a view to putting a proposal for joint sovereignty to the people of Gibraltar. This initiative was pre-emptively rejected by Gibraltarians in the 2002 referendum.1415
  • In 2012, the Canadian and Danish governments were close to an agreement to declare Hans Island a condominium, after decades in dispute. Another considered alternative was to divide the island in half. Negotiations are still in progress.
  • Hypothetical condominia have been proposed for Jerusalem (Israel-Palestine) within the framework of Palestinian independence, as well as for Brussels (Flanders-Wallonia) in the event of Flemish independence.
  • In the talks between the UK and the People's Republic of China in 1983-84, one of British proposals was to transfer the sovereignty of Hong Kong and its dependencies to the People's Republic of China, whereas the UK would retain the rights of administration of the dependent territory. The negotiations ended with the UK agreeing to relinquishing all rights over Hong Kong to the People's Republic in 1997.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Select DEFRLUBEDELU.PDF (Map of condominium boundaries)". Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  2. ^ Ajman/Muscat condominium. "I don't know when the Hadf zone agreement was terminated, but it certainly was."
  3. ^ Gómez Cruz, Ricardo Alonso (October 2004). Elementos Jurídicos para la Construcción de una Propuesta Tendente a la Recuperación Material y la Soberanía de la Isla Conejo en el Golfo de Fonseca (Legal Elements for the Construction of a Proposal to the Material Recovery and Sovereignty of Isla Conejo in the Gulf of Fonseca) (Thesis). Universidad de El Salvador, Ciudad Universitaria, San Salvador, El Salvador. p. 33, 36, 46, 49 and 50. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  4. ^ Case Concerning Land, Island, and Maritime Frontier Dispute (El Salvador/Honduras, Nicaragua Intervening) (International Court of Justice 1992). Text
  5. ^ Huezo Urquilla, Luis Salvador (July 1993). La controversia fronteriza terrestre, insular y maritima entre El Salvador y Honduras, y Nicaragua como país interviniente (Thesis). Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado, San Salvador, El Salvador. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  6. ^ Daniel-Erasmus Kahn (2004). Die deutschen Staatsgrenzen: rechtshistorische Grundlagen und offene Rechtsfragen ("The German national borders: legal-historical foundations and open legal questions"). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9783161484032. 
  7. ^ a b Smith, Barry. Fiat Objects. Department of Philosophy, Center for Cognitive Science and NCGIA, SUNY at Buffalo (NY). p. 24-25. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  8. ^ Jozo Tomasevich. "The Chetniks". War and Revolution in Yugoslavia. Stanford University Press, 1975. Pp. 103. "The condominium in Croatia was the most important example of Italo-German collaboration in controlling and despoiling an occupied area [...]".
  9. ^ Stephen R. Graubard, (ed.).Exit from Communism. Transaction Publishers, 1993. Pp. 153-154. "After the Axis attack on Yugoslavia in 1941, Mussolini and Hitler installed the Ustašas in power in Zagreb, making them the nucleus of a dependent regime of the newly created Independent State of Croatia, an Italo-German condominium predicated on the abolition of Yugoslavia." [1]
  10. ^ Günay Göksu Özdoğan, Kemâli Saybaşılı. Balkans: a mirror of the new international order. Marmara Üniversitesi. Dept. of International Relations, 1995. Pp. 143. "Croatia (with Bosnia-Hercegovina) formally became a new Axis ally - the Independent State of Croatia (NDH). This was in fact, Italo-German condominium, [...]".
  11. ^ John R. Lampe (ed.), Mark Mazower (ed.). Ideologies and National Identities: The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe. Central European University Press, 2003. Pp. 103. "[...] the Independent State of Croatia (hereafter NDH, Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska), in reality an Italo-German condominium[...]"
  12. ^ http://www.minefe.gouv.fr/fonds_documentaire/notes_bleues/nbb/nbb270/entente_cordiale.pdf
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ CIA - The World Factbook -- Gibraltar US Central Intelligence Agency
  15. ^ BBC News | Europe | Country profiles | Regions and territories: Gibraltar BBC News

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