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Selina Pascale

Selina Pascale


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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!

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The final stage of a treaty

The final stage of a treaty

As the lifespan of a treaty comes to an end it enters the ‘old age of treaties’. This is usually due to a shift in the socio-political environment manifested on the world stage which requires laws to update in order to keep up with our ever changing globalised world. When a simple annex or amendment to a treaty is not enough, the treaty may be terminated for a new one to be born. Alternatively, if a treaty is deemed counterproductive or ineffective this may also be cause for cessation. The old age of treaties largely concerns amendments of treaties and can be seen in the following articles.


Articles 30 and 40 of the Convention on Treaties discusses the general agreement that treaties can be amended by parties. Individual treaties usually specify how an amendment can take place (for example, by a two thirds majority or full consensus). In the case of the UN Charter any amendment requires a two thirds majority and  the votes of all five permanent Security Council members; for the WTO an amendment requires a general full consensus.  Generally speaking, the less parties in the treaty the easier it is for amendments to take place. In accordance with text of treaty you can amend it.


Modifications of treaties are different to amendments. Two or more parties can modify the text of a multilateral treaty only between those two or more parties involved. This can happen if the possibility of such modification is provided by the treaty, if it is not prohibited by treaty, or if it does not affect the rights and obligations of parties in the treaty not involved in modification discussions. The modification also cannot object the goals of the treaty is a whole.


The death bed of a treaty


There are three major theories of how a treaty can die.




Invalidity may come about if the parties concerned enter into a treaty without having the capacity to consent (e.g. if the person signing does not have full powers to represent that nation or if the person has restricted authority, for example can negotiate but not give consent). A treaty can also be invalid due to an error which is so absurd that it is an obvious mistake. Freud is another ground for invalidating any contract on a domestic or international level. Corruption is another feature which would not be tolerated, along with the coercion of the state or of the representative of the state.


There are two categories of invalidity:


1. Absolute invalidity is a circumstance in which when it happens treaty is invalid from the very beginning (due to jus cogens or use of force).


2. Relative invalidity is a circumstance in which one party is incompetent when entering the treaty (the party has a ground to invalidate the treaty but if they accept provisions the treaty can be valid); error; fraud; corruption.




Termination is another provision and can take place in conformity with treaty. A party typically states when they bind themselves to an agreement that they can at some point have the option to withdraw. If the treaty is silent on this but all parties agree in termination it can be done.




Article sixty states that suspension or termination of treaty by breach can take place. This can occur by a material breach, meaning:


1. A repudiation of the treaty not sanctioned by present convention


2. The violation of a provision which is essential to the accomplishment of objectives or the purpose of the treaty.


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