Skip to main content
×
×
Home
  • This chapter is unavailable for purchase
  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: April 2013

3 - The law of treaties

from Part I - The structure of international law
Summary

INTRODUCTION

Treaties have been concluded from the moment there were entities of whom it could be said that they engaged in international relations, and have been concluded in a variety of forms. It is well documented that the ancient Greek city states concluded treaties with each other on such things as access to courts or treatment of prisoners of war, while the Louvre museum in Paris has on display the so-called Amarna letters, pieces of correspondence (chiselled in stone tablets) from the fourteenth century bc by the rulers of Syria and Palestine to pharaoh Amenophis IV (better known perhaps as Akhenaton, husband of Nefertiti).

It was quickly discovered that such agreements are best considered as somehow giving rise to binding obligations: pacta sunt servanda. Anything else would have been counterproductive; there is little point in concluding agreements if the premise is that no binding force will ensue. The rule pacta sunt servanda is thereby an indispensable rule, a rule of natural law in the sense that without it no system of law can be conceived. Still, binding as treaties may be, for a long time it was thought expedient to underline the binding force of treaties by practical means. A particularly gruesome guarantee was the exchange of ‘witnesses’; individuals were held hostage until such time as the treaty had been performed. More innocent was the practice of invoking the help of superior powers; for a long time, treaty-making was formalized by means of an oath.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

International Law
  • Online ISBN: 9781139022569
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139022569
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
×
Fitzmaurice, Sir Gerald, ‘Some Problems Regarding the Formal Sources of International Law’, in F. M. van Asbeck et al. (eds.), Symbolae Verzijl (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1958), 153–76
Craven, Matthew, ‘Legal Differentiation and the Concept of the Human Rights Treaty in International Law’ (2000) 11 European Journal of International Law, 489–520.
Myers, Denys P., ‘The Names and Scope of Treaties’ (1957) 51 American Journal of International Law, 574–605
Fawcett, J. E. S., ‘The Legal Character of International Agreements’ (1953) 30 British Yearbook of International Law, 381–400
Aust, Anthony, ‘The Theory and Practice of Informal International Instruments’ (1986) 35 International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 787–812
Aust, Anthony, Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2000), Ch. 3
Klabbers, Jan, The Concept of Treaty in International Law (The Hague: Kluwer, 1996)
Lipson, Charles, ‘Why are Some International Agreements Informal?’ (1991) 45 International Organization, 495–538
Raustiala, Kal, ‘The Form and Substance of International Agreements’ (2005) 99 American Journal of International Law, 581–614
Guzman, Andrew T., How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory (Oxford University Press, 2008)
Slaughter, Anne-Marie, A New World Order (Princeton University Press, 2004)
Jones, J. Mervyn, Full Powers and Ratification (Cambridge University Press, 1946)
Klabbers, Jan, ‘How to Defeat the Object and Purpose of a Treaty: Toward Manifest Intent’ (2001) 34 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 283–331
Klabbers, Jan, ‘Some Problems Regarding the Object and Purpose of Treaties’ (1997) 8 Finnish Yearbook of International Law, 138–60
Bowett, D. W., ‘Reservations to Non-restricted Multilateral Treaties’ (1976–77) 48 British Yearbook of International Law, 67–92
This was confirmed in the Anglo-French Continental Shelf Arbitration, reported in (1979) 18 International Legal Materials, 397
Lijnzaad, Liesbeth, Reservations to UN Human Rights Treaties: Ratify and Ruin? (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1994)
Klabbers, Jan, ‘Accepting the Unacceptable? A New Nordic Approach to Reservations to Multilateral Treaties’ (2000) 69 Nordic Journal of International Law, 179–93
Goodman, Ryan, ‘Human Rights Treaties, Invalid Reservations, and State Consent’ (2002) 96 American Journal of International Law, 531–60
Tuytschaever, Filip, Differentiation in European Union Law (Oxford: Hart, 1999)
Gardiner, Richard, Treaty Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2008)
Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Philosophical Investigations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1953)
Allott, Philip, ‘The Concept of International Law’ (1999) 10 European Journal of International Law, 31–50
Klabbers, Jan, ‘International Legal Histories: The Declining Importance of Travaux Préparatoires in Treaty Interpretation? (2003) 50 Netherlands International Law Review, 267–88
Klabbers, Jan, ‘On Rationalism in Politics: Interpretation of Treaties and the World Trade Organization’ (2005) 74 Nordic Journal of International Law, 405–28
Fish, Stanley, Doing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric, and the Practice of Theory in Literary and Legal Studies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989)
Johnstone, Ian, The Power of Deliberation: International Law, Politics and Organization (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Binder, Guyora, Treaty Conflict and Political Contradiction: The Dialectic of Duplicity (New York: Praeger, 1988)
Sadat-Akhavi, Seyed Ali, Methods of Resolving Conflicts between Treaties (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2003)
Pauwelyn, Joost, Conflict of Norms in International Law: How WTO Law Relates to Other Rules of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Klabbers, Jan, Treaty Conflict and the European Union (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
Zuleeg, Manfred, ‘Vertragskonkurrenz im Völkerrecht. Teil I: Verträge zwischen souveränen Staaten’ (1977) 20 German Yearbook of International Law, 246–76
Liivoja, Rain, ‘The Scope of the Supremacy Clause of the United Nations Charter’ (2008) 57 International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 583–612
Lindroos, Anja, ‘Addressing Norm Conflicts in a Fragmented Legal System: The Doctrine of Lex Specialis’ (2005) 74 Nordic Journal of International Law, 27–66
Fischer-Lescano, Andreas and Teubner, Gunther, Regime-Kollisionen: Zur Fragmentierung des globalen Rechts (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2006)
Koskenniemi, Martti, Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law. Report of the Study Group of the International Law Commission (Helsinki: Erik Castrén Institute, 2007)
Chinkin, Christine, Third Parties in International Law (Oxford University Press, 1993)
Simma, Bruno, ‘The Antarctic Treaty as a Treaty Providing for an “Objective Regime”’ (1986) 19 Cornell International Law Journal, 189–209
Jacobsson, Marie and Klabbers, Jan, ‘Rest in Peace? New Developments Concerning the Wreck of the M/S Estonia’ (2000) 69 Nordic Journal of International Law, 317–22
Zacklin, Ralph, The Amendment of the Constitutive Instruments of the United Nations and Specialized Agencies (Leiden: Brill, 2005 [1968])
Vitta, Edoardo, La validité des traits internationaux (Leiden: Brill, 1940)
For a general overview, see Klabbers, Jan, ‘The Validity and Invalidity of Treaties’, in Duncan Hollis (ed.), The Oxford Guide to Treaties (Oxford University Press, 2012), 551–75
Reuter, Paul, Introduction au droit des traités (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1995
Klabbers, Jan, ‘The New Dutch Law on the Approval of Treaties’ (1995) 44 International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 629–43
Glennon, Michael J., Constitutional Diplomacy (Princeton University Press, 1990)
von Verdross, Alfred, ‘Forbidden Treaties in International Law’ (1937) 31 American Journal of International Law, 571–7
Hannikainen, Lauri, Peremptory Norms (Jus Cogens) in International Law: Historical Development, Criteria, Present Status (Helsinki: Finnish Lawyers’ Publishing Company, 1988)
Weil, Prosper, ‘Towards Relative Normativity in International Law?’ (1983) 77 American Journal of International Law, 413–42
Deleau, Olivier, ‘Les positions francaises à la Conférence de Vienne sur le Droit des Traités’ (1969) 15 Annuaire Français de Droit International, 7–23
Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, advisory opinion, [1996] ICJ Reports 226, para
case concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (New Application: 2002) (Democratic Republic of Congo v. Rwanda), jurisdiction and admissibility, [2006] ICJ Reports 6, para. 64
case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro), further requests for the indication of provisional measures, [1993] ICJ Reports 325
Diversion of Water from the Meuse, [1937] Publ. PCIJ, Series A/B, no. 70, at 50
Rosenne, Shabtai, Breach of Treaty (Cambridge University Press, 1985)
Simma, Bruno, ‘Reflections on Article 60 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and its Background in General International Law’ (1970) 20 Österreichische Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, 5–83
Hutchinson, D. H. N., ‘Solidarity and Breaches of Multilateral Treaties’ (1988) 59 British Yearbook of International Law, 151–215
Kaufmann, Erich, Das Wesen des Völkerrechts und die Clausula Rebus Sic Stantibus (Tübingen, 1911)
Klabbers, Jan, ‘Reluctant Grundnormen: Articles 31(3)(c) and 42 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the Fragmentation of International Law’, in Matthew Craven, Malgosia Fitzmaurice and Maria Vogiatzi (eds.), Time, History and International Law (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2007), 141–61