Christian Pippan, Die Stellung des Vertrags von St. Germain im gegenwärtigen Völkerrecht, in Herbert Kalb/Thomas Olechowski/Anita Ziegerhofer (eds.), Der Vertrag von St. Germain – Kommentar (Wien: Manz 2021) 51 -58.
The Treaty of St. Germain (TSG), which entered into force on 16 July 1920, is generally viewed as one of the defining legal instruments of the early Austrian Republic that has emerged after WW1 and the demise of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Until Austria’s incorporation (“Anschluss”) into Nazi-Germany in March 1938, the treaty determined the country’s international status and provided the essential basis for its position in the international community as it presented itself at the time. Whether the TSG formally survived WW2 and the formation of the Second Austrian Republic was never formally clarified among States Parties but can arguably be presumed in light of the so-called ‘occupation thesis’ (pertaining to Austria’s legal status between 1938 and 1945), which was consistently advanced by the Austrian government after 1945 and seemingly accepted by the Allied Powers. From the outset, however, it was clear that certain elements of the TSG – eg its entire First Part (containing the Covenant of the League of Nations, which became defunct already during the war and was formally dissolved in April 1946) – had meanwhile lost any legal relevance. Against this backdrop and in view of ensuing developments, including the ratification by Austria of a further major treaty defining its international status (the Austrian State Treaty of 1955), the present contribution examines whether the Treaty of St. Germain still remains (in full or at least in part) a valid legal instrument under international law or whether, from today’s perspective, its international legal relevance is entirely a matter of the past.
Available under: Der Vertrag von St. Germain (lexisnexis.at)