Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

pp 105-117


Article 6. Capacity of States to conclude treaties

  • Oliver DörrAffiliated withEuropean Legal Studies Institute, University of Osnabrück Email author 
  • , Kirsten SchmalenbachAffiliated withFaculty of Law Department of Public Law/International Law, University of Salzburg

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At first glance, the laconic statement on the treaty-making capacity of States (ius tractandi) appears to be rather redundant and self-evident: all parties to the VCLT have sufficiently demonstrated their treaty-making capacity by ratifying the Convention. The provision’s “general jurisprudential character”, however, shall not hide the fact that its adoption has initiated an important legal development. It is the purpose of Art 6 to safeguard the treaty-making capacity of States against any attempts to limit its scope. In contrast, Art 6 does not deal with the competence of States to conclude certain treaties (→MN 8). The legal effects of a lack of that competence or the prohibition to conclude treaties on certain subject matters have to be assessed on the basis of other provisions of the Convention (Arts 27, 46, 53, etc).