Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969)

The States Parties to the present Convention,

Considering the fundamental role of treaties in the history of international relations,

Recognizing the ever-increasing importance of treaties as a source of international law and as a means of developing peaceful cooperation among nations, whatever their constitutional and social systems,

Noting that the principles of free consent and of good faith and the pacta sunt servanda rule are universally recognized,

Affirming that disputes concerning treaties, like other international disputes, should be settled by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law,

Recalling the determination of the peoples of the United Nations to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties can be maintained,

Having in mind the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, such as the principles of the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, of the sovereign equality and independence of all States, of non-interference in the domestic affairs of States, of the prohibition of the threat or use of force and of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,

Believing that the codification and progressive development of the law of treaties achieved in the present Convention will promote the purposes of the United Nations set forth in the Charter, namely, the maintenance of international peace and security, the development of friendly relations and the achievement of cooperation among nations,

Affirming that the rules of customary international law will continue to govern questions not regulated by the provisions of the present Convention,

Have agreed as follows:

PART I INTRODUCTION

The present Convention applies to treaties between States.

b.

“ratification”, “acceptance”, “approval” and “accession” mean in each case the international act so named whereby a State establishes on the international plane its consent to be bound by a treaty;

c.

“full powers” means a document emanating from the competent authority of a State designating a person or persons to represent the State for negotiating, adopting or authenticating the text of a treaty, for expressing the consent of the State to be bound by a treaty, or for accomplishing any other act with respect to a treaty;

e.

“negotiating State” means a State which took part in the drawing up and adoption of the text of the treaty;

f.

“contracting State” means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty, whether or not the treaty has entered into force;

g.

“party” means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty and for which the treaty is in force

i.

“international organization” means an intergovernmental organization.

2.

The provisions of paragraph 1 regarding the use of terms in the present Convention are without prejudice to the use of those terms or to the meanings which may be given to them in the internal law of any State.

The fact that the present Convention does not apply to international agreements concluded between States and other subjects of international law or between such other subjects of international law, or to international agreements not in written form, shall not affect:

a.

the legal force of such agreements;

b.

the application to them of any of the rules set forth in the present Convention to which they would be subject under international law independently of the Convention;

c.

the application of the Convention to the relations of States as between themselves under international agreements to which other subjects of international law are also parties.

Without prejudice to the application of any rules set forth in the present Convention to which treaties would be subject under international law independently of the Convention, the Convention applies only to treaties which are concluded by States after the entry into force of the present Convention with regard to such States.

Article 5 Treaties constituting international organizations and treaties adopted within an international organization

The present Convention applies to any treaty which is the constituent instrument of an international organization and to any treaty adopted within an international organization without prejudice to any relevant rules of the organization.

PART II CONCLUSION AND ENTRY INTO FORCE OF TREATIES

SECTION 1 CONCLUSION OF TREATIES

Every State possesses capacity to conclude treaties.

1.

A person is considered as representing a State for the purpose of adopting or authenticating the text of a treaty or for the purpose of expressing the consent of the State to be bound by a treaty if:

a.

he produces appropriate full powers; or

b.

it appears from the practice of the States concerned or from other circumstances that their intention was to consider that person as representing the State for such purposes and to dispense with full powers.

a.

Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs, for the purpose of performing all acts relating to the conclusion of a treaty;

b.

heads of diplomatic missions, for the purpose of adopting the text of a treaty between the accrediting State and the State to which they are accredited;

c.

representatives accredited by States to an international conference or to an international organization or one of its organs, for the purpose of adopting the text of a treaty in that conference, organization or organ.

An act relating to the conclusion of a treaty performed by a person who cannot be considered under article 7 as authorized to represent a State for that purpose is without legal effect unless afterwards confirmed by that State.

Article 9 Adoption of the text

1.

The adoption of the text of a treaty takes place by the consent of all the States participating in its drawing up except as provided in paragraph 2.

2.

The adoption of the text of a treaty at an international conference takes place by the vote of two thirds of the States present and voting, unless by the same majority they shall decide to apply a different rule.

a.

by such procedure as may be provided for in the text or agreed upon by the States participating in its drawing up; or

The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty may be expressed by signature, exchange of instruments constituting a treaty, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, or by any other means if so agreed.

1.

The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by the signature of its representative when:

a.

the treaty provides that signature shall have that effect;

b.

it is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed that signature should have that effect; or

c.

the intention of the State to give that effect to the signature appears from the full powers of its representative or was expressed during the negotiation.

2.

For the purposes of paragraph 1:

a.

the initialling of a text constitutes a signature of the treaty when it is established that the negotiating States so agreed;

b.

the signature ad referendum of a treaty by a representative, if confirmed by his State, constitutes a full signature of the treaty.

Article 13 Consent to be bound by a treaty expressed by an exchange of instruments constituting a treaty

The consent of States to be bound by a treaty constituted by instruments exchanged between them is expressed by that exchange when:

a.

the instruments provide that their exchange shall have that effect; or

b.

it is otherwise established that those States were agreed that the exchange of instruments should have that effect.

b.

it is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed that ratification should be required;

c.

the representative of the State has signed the treaty subject to ratification; or

d.

the intention of the State to sign the treaty subject to ratification appears from the full powers of its representative or was expressed during the negotiation.

2.

The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by acceptance or approval under conditions similar to those which apply to ratification.

The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by accession when:

a.

the treaty provides that such consent may be expressed by that State by means of accession;

b.

it is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed that such consent may be expressed by that State by means of accession; or

c.

all the parties have subsequently agreed that such consent may be expressed by that State by means of accession.

Unless the treaty otherwise provides, instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession establish the consent of a State to be bound by a treaty upon:

a.

their exchange between the contracting States;

b.

their deposit with the depositary; or

c.

their notification to the contracting States or to the depositary, if so agreed.

a.

it has signed the treaty or has exchanged instruments constituting the treaty subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, until it shall have made its intention clear not to become a party to the treaty; or

SECTION 2 RESERVATIONS

a.

the reservation is prohibited by the treaty;

b.

the treaty provides that only specified reservations, which do not include the reservation in question, may be made; or

1.

A reservation expressly authorized by a treaty does not require any subsequent acceptance by the other contracting States unless the treaty so provides.

2.

When it appears from the limited number of the negotiating States and the object and purpose of a treaty that the application of the treaty in its entirety between all the parties is an essential condition of the consent of each one to be bound by the treaty, a reservation requires acceptance by all the parties.

3.

When a treaty is a constituent instrument of an international organization and unless it otherwise provides, a reservation requires the acceptance of the competent organ of that organization.

4.

In cases not falling under the preceding paragraphs and unless the treaty otherwise provides:

a.

acceptance by another contracting State of a reservation constitutes the reserving State a party to the treaty in relation to that other State if or when the treaty is in force for those States;

b.

an objection by another contracting State to a reservation does not preclude the entry into force of the treaty as between the objecting and reserving States unless a contrary intention is definitely expressed by the objecting State;

c.

an act expressing a State’s consent to be bound by the treaty and containing a reservation is effective as soon as at least one other contracting State has accepted the reservation.

a.

modifies for the reserving State in its relations with that other party the provisions of the treaty to which the reservation relates to the extent of the reservation; and

2.

The reservation does not modify the provisions of the treaty for the other parties to the treaty inter se.

3.

When a State objecting to a reservation has not opposed the entry into force of the treaty between itself and the reserving State, the provisions to which the reservation relates do not apply as between the two States to the extent of the reservation.

Article 22 Withdrawal of reservations and of objections to reservations

1.

Unless the treaty otherwise provides, a reservation may be withdrawn at any time and the consent of a State which has accepted the reservation is not required for its withdrawal.

2.

Unless the treaty otherwise provides, an objection to a reservation may be withdrawn at any time

3.

Unless the treaty otherwise provides, or it is otherwise agreed:

a.

the withdrawal of a reservation becomes operative in relation to another contracting State only when notice of it has been received by that State;

b.

the withdrawal of an objection to a reservation becomes operative only when notice of it has been received by the State which formulated the reservation.

2.

If formulated when signing the treaty subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, a reservation must be formally confirmed by the reserving State when expressing its consent to be bound by the treaty. In such a case the reservation shall be considered as having been made on the date of its confirmation.

3.

An express acceptance of, or an objection to, a reservation made previously to confirmation of the reservation does not itself require confirmation.

4.

The withdrawal of a reservation or of an objection to a reservation must be formulated in writing.

SECTION 3 ENTRY INTO FORCE AND PROVISIONAL, APPLICATION OF TREATIES

2.

Failing any such provision or agreement, a treaty enters into force as soon as consent to be bound by the treaty has been established for all the negotiating States.

3.

When the consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is established on a date after the treaty has come into force, the treaty enters into force for that State on that date, unless the treaty otherwise provides.

a.

the treaty itself so provides; or

b.

the negotiating States have in some other manner so agreed.

PART III OBSERVANCE, APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION OF TREATIES

SECTION 1 OBSERVANCE OF TREATIES

SECTION 2 APPLICATION OF TREATIES

Unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, its provisions do not bind a party in relation to any act or fact which took place or any situation which ceased to exist before the date of the entry into force of the treaty with respect to that party.

Unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, a treaty is binding upon each party in respect of its entire territory.

SECTION 3 INTERPRETATION OF TREATIES

SECTION 4 TREATIES AND THIRD STATES

A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent.

An obligation arises for a third State from a provision of a treaty if the parties to the treaty intend the provision to be the means of establishing the obligation and the third State expressly accepts that obligation in writing.

1.

A right arises for a third State from a provision of a treaty if the parties to the treaty intend the provision to accord that right either to the third State, or to a group of States to which it belongs, or to all States, and the third State assents thereto. Its assent shall be presumed so long as the contrary is not indicated, unless the treaty otherwise provides.

Article 37 Revocation or modification of obligations or rights of third States

1.

When an obligation has arisen for a third State in conformity with article 35, the obligation may be revoked or modified only with the consent of the parties to the treaty and of the third State, unless it is established that they had otherwise agreed.

2.

When a right has arisen for a third State in conformity with article 36, the right may not be revoked or modified by the parties if it is established that the right was intended not to be revocable or subject to modification without the consent of the third State.

Nothing in articles 34 to 37 precludes a rule set forth in a treaty from becoming binding upon a third State as a customary rule of international law, recognized as such.

PART IV AMENDMENT AND MODIFICATION OF TREATIES

A treaty may be amended by agreement between the parties. The rules laid down in Part II apply to such an agreement except insofar as the treaty may otherwise provide.

1.

Unless the treaty otherwise provides, the amendment of multilateral treaties shall be governed by the following paragraphs.

2.

Any proposal to amend a multilateral treaty as between all the parties must be notified to all the contracting States, each one of which shall have the right to take part in:

a.

the decision as to the action to be taken in regard to such proposal;

b.

the negotiation and conclusion of any agreement for the amendment of the treaty.

3.

Every State entitled to become a party to the treaty shall also be entitled to become a party to the treaty as amended.

4.

The amending agreement does not bind any State already a party to the treaty which does not become a party to the amending agreement; article 30, paragraph 4 (b), applies in relation to such State.

5.

Any State which becomes a party to the treaty after the entry into force of the amending agreement shall, failing an expression of a different intention by that State:

a.

be considered as a party to the treaty as amended; and

b.

be considered as a party to the unamended treaty in relation to any party to the treaty not bound by the amending agreement.

i.

does not affect the enjoyment by the other parties of their rights under the treaty or the performance of their obligations;

PART V INVALIDITY, TERMINATION AND SUSPENSION OF THE OPERATION OF TREATIES

SECTION 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

The invalidity, termination or denunciation of a treaty, the withdrawal of a party from it, or the suspension of its operation, as a result of the application of the present Convention or of the provisions of the treaty, shall not in any way impair the duty of any State to fulfil any obligation embodied in the treaty to which it would be subject under international law independently of the treaty.

1.

A right of a party, provided for in a treaty or arising under article 56, to denounce, withdraw from or suspend the operation of the treaty may be exercised only with respect to the whole treaty unless the treaty otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree.

2.

A ground for invalidating, terminating, withdrawing from or suspending the operation of a treaty recognized in the present Convention may be invoked only with respect to the whole treaty except as provided in the following paragraphs or in article 60.

a.

the said clauses are separable from the remainder of the treaty with regard to their application;

b.

it appears from the treaty or is otherwise established that acceptance of those clauses was not an essential basis of the consent of the other party or parties to be bound by the treaty as a whole; and

c.

continued performance of the remainder of the treaty would not be unjust.

4.

In cases falling under articles 49 and 50, the State entitled to invoke the fraud or corruption may do so with respect either to the whole treaty or, subject to paragraph 3, to the particular clauses alone.

5.

In cases falling under articles 51, 52 and 53, no separation of the provisions of the treaty is permitted.

a.

it shall have expressly agreed that the treaty is valid or remains in force or continues in operation, as the case may be; or

SECTION 2 INVALIDITY OF TREATIES

If the authority of a representative to express the consent of a State to be bound by a particular treaty has been made subject to a specific restriction, his omission to observe that restriction may not be invoked as invalidating the consent expressed by him unless the restriction was notified to the other negotiating States prior to his expressing such consent.

2.

Paragraph 1 shall not apply if the State in question contributed by its own conduct to the error or if the circumstances were such as to put that