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TraditionalSourcesofLaw:Treaties

Treaties
Four(4)Traditionalsourcesofinternational
law:

Internationalcustom(binding)
Generalprinciples(binding)
Judicialdecisions/teachings(nonbinding)
Internationaltreaties(binding)

Treaties
Principlemethodforcreatingbindingrulesof
internationallaw
Derivelegitimacyfromexpressconsentof
states

ViennaConventiononLawofTreaties
I
Governsmajoraspectsoftreatiessuchas
treatyinitiation,negotiation,adoption,and
ratification
Codificationofcustomaryinternationallaw;
therefore,bindingonpartiesandnonparties
U.S.hasnotratifiedtheViennaConvention

ViennaConventiononLawofTreaties
II
Onlygovernswrittenagreements
OnlygovernsagreementsbetweenStates
TreatyDefinition:
Aninternationalagreementconcludedbetween
statesinwrittenformandgovernedby
internationallaw,whetherembodiedinasingle
instrumentorintwoormorerelatedinstruments
andwhateveritsparticulardesignation.Vienna
Convention,Article2.1(a).

TheTreatyMakingProcess

FourBasicSteps:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Identificationofneedsandgoals
Negotiation
Adoption&signature
Ratification(+implementation,modification,
andamendment)

Step1.IdentificationofNeedsand
Goals

Dependentonscience,data
E.g.,ViennaConventionfortheProtectionoftheOzone
Layer

TwoMichiganscientistsin1973discoveredthatchlorinereleased
intothestratospherecatalyzesareactionthatdestroysozone
molecules.In1974,MolinaandRowlanddiscoveredthatCFCs
migrateintothestratosphere,arebrokendownbysolarradiation,
andreleasechlorineintothestratosphere.Thisledtoconsiderable
research,includingtheWMO/UNEPreport(1984).
WMO/UNEPreportledtonegotiationofframeworktreaty,the
ViennaConventionfortheProtectionoftheOzoneLayer

Step2.Negotiation

Bilateral:StateoftensimplyasksanotherState
Multilateral:

Individualstatesmaynegotiate;or
StatewillrecommendthatIntlOrg(e.g.,UNGeneralAssembly
orEconomicandSocialCouncil)establishcommitteeorhold
internationalconference.

Establishpreparatorycommittees,workinggroups,symposia,
preliminaryconferences
AcceptcommentsformNGOs,scientificunions,etc.
Plenipotentariesconvened

Finalversionoftreaty(authentictext)

Step3.Adoption(1)

Textmustbeadoptedatendofnegotiationphasein
ordertoopenthetreatyforsignatureand
ratification
AdoptiongovernedbyArticle9oftheVienna
Convention

Atinternationalconference,2/3voteofthosepresentandvoting
neededtoadopt,unlessothermethodagreeduponbysamemajority

Adoptiondoesnotbind,butmerelymeans
participantsfindthetextacceptable

Step3.Adoption(II)

FinalActincorporateshistoryoftreaty.Thetreatytextis
incorporatedintoorannexedtotheAct.

IfnegotiationsoccurredwithinIntlOrgliketheUN,a
resolutionmustbepassedtoapprovethetext.

Treatymustthenbeauthenticated.Authenticationgoverned
byArticle10oftheViennaConvention

Authenticationgenerallyoccursbysignature,althoughthisdoesnotbind
State
UnderArticle18oftheViennaConvention,however,astatemaynotdo
anythingthatwoulddefeatobjectandintentoftreaty

Step4.RatificationorAccession
Statecanonlybeboundifitexpresseswilltobebound.
VariousmethodsunderArticle11ofViennaConvention
Ratification

Onlystatesthatnegotiatedandsignedtreatymayratifyit
Mostcommonmethodformultilateralagreements
Ratification:anyauthoritativeactwherebyastatedeclarestothe
internationalcommunityitselfboundbyatreaty(textbook)
InstrumentofRatificationdepositedwithanorganizationsuchasthe
U.N.
Domesticpoliticalrequirementsoftenmustbemetbeforeratification

U.S.SenatehasstillnotratifiedtheInternationalCriminalCourt;U.S.cannot
ratifytheICCuntiltheU.S.Senateratifiesit

Accession

Nonsignatoriesmayjoinbyaccession
Accession:Statedeclaresintenttobeboundbytreaty(methodsoften
specifiedintreaty)

LimitedConsentandReservations

Statecanlimititsconsenttoonlyaportionofthe
treatyifthetreatysoprovidesorifotherStates
agree
Iflimitedconsentunavailable,Statecanstillenter
objectionsandreservationsattimeitgivesconsent
tobebound(aslongasnotprohibitedbytreatyor
contrarytotheobjectorintentoftreaty)(Vienna
Convention,Art.19)
Legaleffectofreservationdependsonwhetherother
Statesacceptthereservation.

Canaffectbargainedforrights,threatenratification,andcomplicate
applicationoftreaty
Manymoderntreatiesthereforeprohibitreservations

EntryintoForce

Partiesbecomeboundbytreatywhenitentersinto
force.
Atreatyentersintoforceafterithasbeenratified
undernationallawandtheStatedepositsits
instrumentofratification,and,iftreatyhasnoother
specifications,allnegotiatingStateshaveratified;
oftenaminimumnumberofStatesmustratifythe
treatyforittoenterintoforce

KeepingTreatiesUpToDate
Partiestoanoriginaltreatydonothavetobeparties
toanyamendments(ViennaConvention,Art.40)
Statesthatadoptanamendmentareboundbyterms
oforiginaltreatywhendealingwithStatesthathave
notadoptedtheamendment(ViennaConvention,Art.
30,para.4(b))
Partiestoatreatymaymodifytheagreementas
betweenthemselvesifitdoesnotaffectotherStates
orimpairtheobjectandintentofthetreaty(Vienna
Convention,Art.41)

UnilateralTreaties
Unilateralacts,includingdeclarations,maybe
binding
NuclearTestsCases(Australiav.France),1974ICJ
Rep.253
AustraliaandNewZealandfiledclaimsinICJbecause
Francewasperformingatmospherictesting
ICJdeclaredissuemootbecauseFrenchofficialshad
consistentlyandpubliclystatedthatFrancewould
discontinuetesting
Francehaddemonstratedtheintenttobeboundand
thereforeitsdeclarationswerebinding

InterpretingaTreaty(Vienna
Convention,Articles31&32)
Text:
interpretingoodfaithinaccordancewiththeordinarymeaningtobe
giventothetermsofthetreatyintheircontextandinlightofitsobject
andpurpose.(Art.31(1))(Lookforobjectandpurposeinpreamble&
overallstructure)

Contextoftreaty
Preamble,annexes,textitself,agreements,otherinternationallaw
provisions,etc.

Partiesowninterpretationsreflectedinsubsequentagreements
Historyofthenegotiationofthetreaty(assupplementary
meansofinterpretation)
Presentdaystateofscientificknowledge