Condominium (international law)

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A condominium (plural either condominia, as in Latin, or condominiums) in international law is a political territory (state or border area) in or over which multiple sovereign powers formally agree to share equal dominium (in the sense of sovereignty) and exercise their rights jointly, without dividing it 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 so few have existed, 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 1718, from Modern Latin, apparently coined in Germany c. 1700 from Latin con- 'together' + dominium 'right of ownership' (compare domain). A condominium of three sovereign powers is sometimes called a tripartite condominium or tridominium.

Current condominia

CondominiumSovereign states responsibleArea (Km2)PopulationDate createdNotes
Abyei Area Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan
Flag of South Sudan.svg  South Sudan
10,546124,3909 January 2005The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended the Second Sudanese Civil War, created the special status administrative area which is considered to simultaneously be part of West Kordofan state and Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. Following the independence of South Sudan in 2011, the area effectively became a condominium between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of the Sudan.
Antarctica Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechia
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland
Flag of France.svg  France
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland
Flag of India.svg  India
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea
Flag of Peru.svg  Peru
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Flag of San Marino.svg  San Marino
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela
14,200,0001,300 - 5,100 (seasonal)1 December 1959Antarctica is a de facto continental condominium, governed by the 29 parties to the Antarctic Treaty that have consulting status. Only 7 of these parties have territorial claims
Brčko District Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina: 49383,5168 March 2000 Subnational condominium of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina created due to its multiethnic nature. [1]
Gulf of Fonseca Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua
3,2000May 24, 1980 [2] El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua exercise a tripartite condominium over parts of the Gulf of Fonseca and of the territorial sea outside its mouth. [3] [4] [5]
Joint Regime Area Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
0November 1993As an alternative to delimiting their sea boundary, Colombia and Jamaica share a maritime condominium called the Joint Regime Area in the Caribbean Sea by mutual agreement. 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.
Koalou Flag of Benin.svg  Benin
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso
68~5,000March 2008The area is administrated jointly by the "Joint Committee for the Concerted Management of the Kourou/Koalou Area" (COMGEC-K). Neither nation expresses sovereignty over the area, with a permanent solution still pending. [6]
Lake Constance Flag of Austria.svg  Austria
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland
5360No official treatyAustria and Germany consider themselves to hold a tripartite condominium with Switzerland (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. [7] [8] Hence, no international treaty establishes where the borders of Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, in or around Lake Constance, lie. [8]
Moselle Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg
01816The Moselle and its tributaries, the Sauer and the Our, constitute a condominium between Germany and Luxembourg, which also includes bridges, about 15 river islands of varying size, [9] and the tip of one island, Staustufe Apach, [10] near Schengen (the rest of the island is in France).
MOU 74 Box Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
50,00001974Officially known as the Australia–Indonesia Memorandum of Understanding, the MOU Box was established by a bilateral agreement regarding the Operations of Indonesian Traditional Fishermen in Areas of the Australian Fishing Zone and Continental Shelf – 1974. The agreement recognizes access rights of traditional Indonesian fishers from Rote Ndao Regency in shared waters to the north of Australia with regard to the long history of traditional Indonesian fishing there, especially for trepang, trochus, abalone and sponges. The MOU Box includes the Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, Browse Island, and Ashmore and Cartier Islands. [11]
Pheasant Island Flag of France.svg  France
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
0.0068201659Pheasant Island is an island of the Bidassoa. Established as part of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, It is formally administered by Spain between 1 February and 31 July each year (181 or 182 days) and by France between 1 August and 31 January each year (184 days). [12]


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. However, the position of head of state is shared ex officio by two foreigners, one of whom is the President of France, currently Emmanuel Macron, and the other the Bishop of Urgell in Spain, currently Joan Enric Vives i Sicília. [13]

Former condominia

Flags of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1899-1956) Flag of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.svg
Flags of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1899–1956)

Proposed condominia

See also

Related Research Articles

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