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Over the past centuries, state practice has developed a variety of terms to refer to international instruments by which states establish rights and obligations among themselves. "Treaty" is the most common title of an international agreement but the following are also used: convention, act, general act, protocol, agreement, modus vivendi, concordance, charter, declaration, and compromise. Although there is no officially correct form, treaties generally comprise four parts: the title, the preamble, the main body, and the final part.

a. Title: A description of the type of treaty and the subject matter, the title often also includes the names of the contracting parties. Treaties concluded in simplified form do not usually have titles.

b. Preamble: Following the title and serving as an introduction, the preamble states the reasons for the treaty, the names of the negotiating representatives, and the authority with which the representative is cloaked.

c. Main body: This sets forth the rights and obligations of the parties.

d. Final part: The final part comprises the provisions setting forth the guidelines for entry into force, termination of the treaty, revisions, accessions, reservation, publication, and languages in which the text will be written. The treaty finally concludes with the date and place of conclusion and the signatures and seals of the contracting parties.

Language: There is no universal rule as to what language or what number of languages must be utilized for the text of the treaty. Rather, the language of the treaty is selected by the contracting parties. When a treaty is published in more than one language, the treaty itself should clarify which text is to be the authentic and authoritative one.

Although these instruments differ from each other by title, they all have common features and international law has applied basically the same rules to all of these instruments. These rules are the result of long practice among the States, which have accepted them as binding norms in their mutual relations. Therefore, they are regarded as international customary law. Since there was a general desire to codify these customary rules, two international conventions were negotiated. The 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties ("1969 Vienna Convention"), which entered into force on 27 January 1980, contains rules for treaties concluded between States. The 1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations ("1986 Vienna Convention"), which has still not entered into force, added rules for treaties with international organizations as parties. Both the 1969 Vienna Convention and the 1986 Vienna Convention do not distinguish between the different designations of these instruments. Instead, their rules apply to all of those instruments as long as they meet certain common requirements.

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties defines a treaty as "an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument, or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation."


Date: 2015-12-17; view: 1253

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