Article 54. Termination of or withdrawal from a treaty under its provisions or by consent of the parties

  • Oliver DörrEmail author
  • Kirsten Schmalenbach


Part V of the VCLT on invalidity, termination and suspension of the operation of treaties sets out exceptions to the general rule pacta sunt servanda (Art 26). It consists of five sections. Section 3 (Arts 54–64) deals with the termination of treaties and the suspension of their operation. It both systematically and logically follows Section 2, which regulates the invalidity of treaties (Arts 46–53), for only valid treaties can be terminated or suspended pro futuro (Arts 70 and 72), whereas invalid treaties are void ab initio (Art 69). Thus, the two sections overlap at no point, but thematically interlock where treaties come into conflict with a peremptory norm of general international law (ius cogens): in this case the treaty will be void according to Section 2 (Arts 53 and 71), if such a conflict existed already at the time of its conclusion; whereas the later emergence of a conflicting ius cogens norm automatically terminates the treaty under Section 3 (Arts 64 and 71).


Security Council Treaty Provision Genocide Convention Treaty Obligation Multilateral Treaty 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Legal Studies InstituteUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Law Department of Public Law/International LawUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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