There are several ways in which rights may be lost: by renunciation or “alienation,” through wrongdoing or “forfeiture,” and through “prescription” or the expiration of rights or their expropriation by competing claimants. One form of prescription is “supersession,” where rights are alleged to “fade away” over time to be replaced by others’ claims of right. Chapter 7 is an in-depth examination of the idea of rights supersession. That idea is centrally employed, but inadequately analyzed, in virtually all theories of territorial rights. The chapter distinguishes from true supersession various related phenomena. It then examines and criticizes all of the familiar arguments in favor of supersession, with special reference to Waldron’s well-known approach. The arguments considered concern “fading bases,” shaky counterfactuals, changing circumstances, and the evolving demands of justice.
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