Netherlands International Law Review

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 243–266 | Cite as

Limping Treaties: Lessons from Multilateral Treaty-making

  • Anthony Aust


Security Council Vienna Convention Special Mission Diplomatic Relation Draft Article 
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  1. 2.
    See A. Aust, Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2000) pp. 240–242.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    ‘Ratification’ includes other means of expressing consent to be bound, such as acceptance, approval and accession, as well as succession.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    As general background, see Review of the Multilateral Treaty-Making Process (UN, 1985, ST/LEG/SER.B/21).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    See Aust, op. cit. n. 2, at pp. 17–18 and 28–46.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    A ‘negotiating state’ is defined in Art. 2(1)(e) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties as ‘a State which took part in the drawing up and adoption of the text of the treaty’ (cf., the Convention’s definitions of ‘contracting state’ and ‘party’). A treaty negotiated between a small, select number of states on a subject of particular interest to them is sometimes called ‘plurilateral’ (see the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969, Art. 20(2) and Aust, op. cit. n. 2, at pp. 15 and 112–113).Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    The Convention is open to ‘all states’. The Cook Islands are not independent of New Zealand but has become party to several treaties, bi- and multilateral, though it is not clear on what basis. As to the status of the Holy See, see R. Jennings and A. Watts, eds., Oppenheim’s International Law, 9th edn. (London, Longman 1992) pp. 327–329.Google Scholar
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    A subject last dealt with by McNair in the final chapter of The Law of Treaties, 2nd edn. (Oxford, Clarendon Press 1961) pp. 693–728. It is now to be the subject of an in-depth study by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, leading eventually to a book.Google Scholar
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    I include Estonia in the category of new state even though it resumed its previous statehood. Since it was for 50 years de facto part of the Soviet Union, it had to resolve succession problems of some novelty. Although Ukraine was a member of the United Nations from the beginning, and party to many treaties while it was still part of the Soviet Union, it also had special succession problems: see Aust, op. cit. n. 2, at pp. 314 and 312–314, respectively.Google Scholar
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    22 ILM (1983) p. 298. Watts, Vol. II, op. cit. n. 16, at p. 1209.Google Scholar
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    See section 4.2 below.Google Scholar
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    41 ILM (2002) p. 3. It is also on the UN website (treaty section) and on Sir Arthur Watts, the architect of the treaty, signed it as a witness.
  37. 39.
    1410 UNTS p. 231 (Reg. No. 23431).Google Scholar
  38. 40.
    This formulation ignores the practice of two or more states sending temporary missions to meet on the ‘neutral’ territory of a third state. When they are at Head of State level customary international law may accord members sufficient immunity, but when they are at official level there may be doubt whether they enjoy immunity.Google Scholar
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    Watts, Vol. I, op. cit. n. 16, at pp. 449 et seq.Google Scholar
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    The International Committee of the Red Cross is an international organisation, but governments are not members of it. It is a Swiss corporation, though it has a special place internationally: see M. Shaw, International Law, 4th edn. (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 1997) pp. 192 and 821.Google Scholar
  42. 44.
    1 UNTS p. 15 (Reg. No. 4).Google Scholar
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  44. 51.
    See p. 248 above.Google Scholar
  45. 52.
    A. Aust, ‘Counter-Terrorism — A New Approach’, 5 Max Planck Yearbook of UN Law (2001) pp. 285–306.Google Scholar
  46. 53.
    16 ILM (1977) p. 1391.Google Scholar
  47. 54.
    360 UNTS p. 117 (Reg. No. 5158); UKTS (1960) No. 41.Google Scholar
  48. 55.
    989 UNTS p. 175 (Reg. No. 14458).Google Scholar
  49. 56.
    UN Law of the Sea Bulletin (1986) p. 87; 26 ILM (1987) p. 1229. See A.V. Lowe and R.R. Churchill, The Law of the Sea, 3rd edn. (Manchester, Manchester University Press 1999) p. 260.Google Scholar
  50. 57.
    See section 1 above.Google Scholar
  51. 58.
    See further, A. Aust, ‘The Procedure and Practice of the Security Council Today’, in R.J. Dupuy, ed., The Development of the Role of the Security Council: peace-keeping and peace-building (Dordrecht, Martinus Nijhoff 1993) pp. 365–374.Google Scholar
  52. 59.
    See p. 248 above.Google Scholar
  53. 60.
    See p. 260, n. 50 aboveGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Aust
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Kendall FreemanLondonUK
  2. 2.London School of EconomicsLondonUK
  3. 3.Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeLondonUK

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