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Article 41. Agreements to modify multilateral treaties between certain of the parties only

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Abstract

Due to the conflicting interests prevailing at an international level, amendments of multilateral treaties (→ Art 40), especially amendments of treaties with a large number of parties, prove to be an extremely difficult and cumbersome process; sometimes, an amendment seems even impossible. It may thus happen that some of the States Parties wish to modify the treaty as between themselves alone. The reasons for such a step may be manifold: States may share common interests or want to reinforce their mutual relationship. Another reason might be that States aim at ensuring higher standards of treaty obligations and decide to lead the way in this respect.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See Villiger Art 41 MN 1, 3.

  2. 2.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 2.

  3. 3.

    G Dahm/J Delbrück/R Wolfrum Völkerrecht Vol I/3 (2nd edn 2002) 668.

  4. 4.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 1.

  5. 5.

    Ibid.

  6. 6.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 14 et seq.

  7. 7.

    Surprisingly, the ILC did not consider this close relationship. Only a small few number of delegations pointed out the problem, see Reuter [1966-I/2] YbILC 97 para 30; Tunkin [1966-I/2] YbILC 126 para 65; Waldock VI 76 para 4.

  8. 8.

    A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 2 et seq.

  9. 9.

    M Zuleeg Vertragskonkurrenz im Völkerrecht, Teil I: Verträge zwischen souveränen Staaten (1977) 20 GYIL 246, 261.

  10. 10.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 26, 217 para 11; Villiger Art 41 MN 14; A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 6.

  11. 11.

    JB Mus Conflicts between Treaties in International Law (1998) NILR 208, 226; Aust 274 et seq.

  12. 12.

    Mus (n 11) 225.

  13. 13.

    Ibid 226; A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 7.

  14. 14.

    PCIJ Oscar Chinn Case PCIJ Ser A/B No 63, 65, 80 (1934); W Karl Treaties, Conflicts between (2000) 4 EPIL 935, 939; H von Heinegg in K Ipsen Völkerrecht (2004) 165; Dahm/Delbrück/Wolfrum (n 3) 668; Mus (n 11) 225; F Capotorti L’extinction et la suspension des traités (1971) 134 RdC 417, 509.

  15. 15.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 1; Mus (n 11) 226 et seq; von Heinegg (n 14) 165; Dahm/Delbrück/Wolfrum (n 3) 668; A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 7; Capotorti (n 14) 509.

  16. 16.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 15.

  17. 17.

    See the statement by the representative of Uruguay UNCLOT I 206.

  18. 18.

    J Klabbers Treaties, Amendment and Revision in MPEPIL (2008) MN 11. See eg Art 19 of the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 828 UNTS 305: “It is understood that the countries of the Union reserve the right to make separately between themselves special agreements for the protection of industrial property, in so far as these agreements do not contravene the provisions of this Convention.”

  19. 19.

    A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 10.

  20. 20.

    See the statement by the representative of Czechoslovakia UNCLOT I 205.

  21. 21.

    Sinclair 14.

  22. 22.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 18.

  23. 23.

    Waldock III 47 et seq.

  24. 24.

    Waldock [1964-I] YbILC 189.

  25. 25.

    Waldock VI 86 et seq (comments of Finland, Israel and the Netherlands), statement of Waldock 87 paras 1 and 3.

  26. 26.

    Revised draft articles [1966-II] YbILC 112, 119.

  27. 27.

    Final Draft 182.

  28. 28.

    UNCLOT I 205 et seq.

  29. 29.

    UNCLOT I 205 MN 33 et seq. The proposal was introduced by Bulgaria, Romania and Syria.

  30. 30.

    UNCLOT II 72.

  31. 31.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 18.

  32. 32.

    WG Grewe Treaties, Revision (2000) 4 EPIL 980, 981.

  33. 33.

    Similarly Dahm/Delbrück/Wolfrum (n 3) 668.

  34. 34.

    Aust 272; Klabbers (n 18) MN 2; Villiger Art 41 MN 3.

  35. 35.

    Further examples are provided by the UN Handbook on Final Clauses of Multilateral Treaties (2003) 107 et seq; ARigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 20 et seq.

  36. 36.

    A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 25.

  37. 37.

    Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 596 UNTS 261.

  38. 38.

    European Convention on Extradition ETS 24.

  39. 39.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 6 n 22.

  40. 40.

    A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 29.

  41. 41.

    A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 21.

  42. 42.

    Sometimes, it is indicated that three requirements are to be met (Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 2; Sinclair 108 et seq). The fact that the modification is not prohibited by the treaty is regarded as one of the three conditions. This view might be due to the fact that Art 37 para 1 lit b Final Draft, which became today’s Art 41, contained three subparagraphs. At the Vienna Conference, however, para 1 lit b cl iii was integrated into the introductory words of para 1 lit b (→ MN 7).

  43. 43.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 7; A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 30; Dahm/Delbrück/Wolfrum (n 3) 668; Aust 274.

  44. 44.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 2.

  45. 45.

    A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 31.

  46. 46.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 5.

  47. 47.

    ICJ Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Advisory Opinion) [1951] ICJ Rep 15, 21.

  48. 48.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 2.

  49. 49.

    Aust 274.

  50. 50.

    A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 32.

  51. 51.

    J Pauwelyn The Role of Public International Law in the WTO: How Far Can We Go? (2001) 95 AJIL 535, 549 with reference to Fitzmaurice III 27 et seq, 41 et seq. Similarly Capotorti (n 14) 509.

  52. 52.

    Pauwelyn (n 51); J Pauwelyn The Nature of WTO Obligations, Jean Monnet Working Paper 1/02, 26 et seq, http://centers.law.nyu.edu/jeanmonnet/papers/02/020101.html.

  53. 53.

    See A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 34 with reference to former versions of today’s Art 41 para 2 and the history of negotiations.

  54. 54.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 3.

  55. 55.

    Ibid.

  56. 56.

    A Rigaux/Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 35.

  57. 57.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 37, 235 para 3.

  58. 58.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 10; A Rigaux/D Simon in Corten/Klein Art 41 MN 35; S Bastid Les traités dans la vie internationale (1985) 179.

  59. 59.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 11. For a different view, see Reuter MN 209, according to whom the notification of the modification agreement is also necessary.

  60. 60.

    Final Draft, Commentary to Art 36, 233 para 9.

  61. 61.

    Villiger Art 41 MN 12.

Selected Bibliography

  • J Pauwelyn The Role of Public International Law in the WTO: How Far Can We Go? (2001) 95 AJIL 535–578.

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Correspondence to Oliver Dörr LL.M. (Lond.) .

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Dörr, O., Schmalenbach, K. (2012). Article 41. Agreements to modify multilateral treaties between certain of the parties only. In: Dörr, O., Schmalenbach, K. (eds) Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-19291-3_44

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