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The act of cession is the assignment of
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
to another entity. In
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
it commonly refers to
land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of Earth's crust, crustal components such a ...
transferred by
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

treaty
. Ballentine's Law Dictionary defines cession as "a surrender; a giving up; a relinquishment of jurisdiction by a board in favor of another agency." In contrast with
annexation Annexation (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, ...
, where property is forcibly seized, cession is voluntary or at least apparently so.


Examples

In 1790, the U.S. states of
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Maryland
and
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
both ceded land to create the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...

District of Columbia
, as specified in the
U.S. Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first t ...

U.S. Constitution
of the previous year. The Virginia portion was given back in 1847, a process known as "retrocession". Following the
First Opium War The First Opium War (), also known as the Opium War or the Anglo-Chinese War, was a series of military engagements fought between Britain and the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in ...
(18391842) and
Second Opium War The Second Opium War (), also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A gov ...
(18561860),
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
(
Treaty of Nanking The Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between the United Kingdom and China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of ...
) and
Kowloon Kowloon () is an urban area in comprising the and . With a population of 2,019,533 and a population density of 43,033/km in 2006, it is the most populous urban area in Hong Kong. The peninsula's area is about . Location Kowloon is locat ...

Kowloon
(
Convention of Peking The Convention of Peking or First Convention of Peking is an agreement comprising three distinct treaties A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign s ...

Convention of Peking
) were ceded by the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
government of
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
to the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
; and following defeat in the
First Sino-Japanese War The First Sino-Japanese War (25 July 1894 – 17 April 1895) was a conflict between the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperi ...

First Sino-Japanese War
,
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
was ceded to the
Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of Japan, 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan. It encomp ...

Empire of Japan
in 1895.
Territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names ...
can also be ceded for payment, such as in the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the Louisiana (New France), territory of Louisiana by the United States from French First Republic, Napoleonic France in 1803. In retur ...

Louisiana Purchase
and
Alaska Purchase The Alaska Purchase (russian: Продажа Аляски, Prodazha Aliaski, meaning "Sale of Alaska") was the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Co ...

Alaska Purchase
.


Specific areas of law


Contract law

This is a yielding up, or release.''Balentine's Law Dictionary'', p. 72.
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
ceded
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
to the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
by the treaty of Paris, of April 30, 1803. Spain made a cession of East and
West Florida West Florida ( es, Florida Occidental) was a region on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North America ...
by the treaty of February 22, 1819. Cessions have been severally made of a part of their territory by New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.


Civil law

Under the
civil law system Civil law is a legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each country is ...
, cession is the equivalent of assignment, and therefore, is an act by which a personal claim is transferred from the assignor (the ''cedent'') to the assignee (the ''cessionary''). Whereas real rights are transferred by delivery, personal rights are transferred by cession. Once the obligation of the debtor is transferred, the cessionary is entirely substituted. The original creditor (cedent) loses his right to claim and the new creditor (cessionary) gains that right.


Ecclesiastical law

When an ecclesiastic is created
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...

bishop
, or when a
parson A parson is an ordained Christians, Christian person responsible for a small area, typically a parish. The term was formerly often used for some Anglican clergy and, more rarely, for ordained ministers in some other churches. It is no longer a f ...

parson
or
rector Rector (Latin for the member of a vessel's crew who steers) may refer to: Style or title *Rector (ecclesiastical), a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations *Rector (academia), a senior official in an educ ...
takes another benefice without dispensation, the first benefice becomes void by a legal cession, or surrender.


Retrocession

Retrocession is the return of something (e.g., land or territory) that was ceded in general or, specifically: Examples: *
District of Columbia retrocession The retrocession of the District of Columbia refers to both past and proposed acts of returning some or all of the land that had been ceded to the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. ...
, the retrocession to Virginia, and potentially to Maryland, of the land ceded to create the District of Columbia *Retrocession of
Louisiana (New Spain) Spanish Louisiana ( es, link=no, la Luisiana) was a governorate A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administered by governors either State (ad ...
from Spain to France, formally accomplished just three weeks before the U.S. received the Louisiana Purchase lands from France


Disputed case

*The claimed "Taiwan retrocession" refers to the view that the
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
has been handed over in 1945 from Japan to the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...
, the widely-recognized government of
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
at the time, following Japan's loss in
WWII World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Whether this "retrocession" is legitimate under
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
is a disputed issue in the complex
political status of Taiwan The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan, sometimes referred to as the ''Taiwan Issue'' or ''Taiwan Strait Issue'' or, from a Taiwanese perspective, as the ''mainland Issue'', is a result of the Chinese Civil War The Chines ...
. See also: Taiwan Retrocession Day. In
insurance Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risk In simple terms, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. ...

insurance
, retrocessional arrangements generally are governed by a reinsurance or retrocessional agreement and the principles applicable to reinsurance also are applicable to retrocessional cover.


See also

*
Boundary dispute A territorial dispute or boundary dispute is a disagreement over the possession (law), possession or control of land between two or more polity, political entities. Context and definitions Territorial disputes are often related to the possessio ...
*
Ecclesiastical ordinances An ordinance or ecclesiastical ordinance is a type of law, legal instrument, or by-law in the canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical jurisdicti ...
*
Escheat Escheat is a common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person ...
*
Jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
*
List of territory purchased by a sovereign nation from another sovereign nation This is a list of territory which has been purchased by a sovereign nation from another sovereign nation. } Original handwritten text of the Treaty of Nystad in Russian , , , 2,000,000 silver Swedish riksdaler , 1721 , ~100,000 km² , ~2 ...


References

Civil law (common law) International law Judicial remedies Political geography Property law Reinsurance Sovereignty {{Autonomous types of first-tier administration