This chapter examines the concept of ‘acquired rights’ in the context of contracts involving individuals and corporations. It will show that the legal order of the predecessor State does not suddenly disappears as a result of a change of sovereignty and that private rights remain, as a matter of principle, unaffected. Yet, as a sovereign State, the successor State is free to adopt legislative changes which may affect rights of foreigners, but any such changes must respect the fundamental rights of foreign investors existing under international law, including a right to compensation.
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