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APPENDIX 12

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

(Vienna, 23 May 1969)

THE STATES PARTIES TO THE ment of friendly relations and the achieve-
PRESENT CONVENTION, ment of co-operation among nations,
CONSIDERING the fundamental role of AFFIRMING that the rules of customary
treaties in the history of international relations, international law will continue to govern
RECOGNIZING the ever-increasing impor- questions not regulated by the provisions of the
tance of treaties as a source of international present Convention,
law and as a means of developing peaceful HAVE AGREED as follows:
co-operation among nations, whatever their
constitutional and social systems, Part I Introduction
NOTING that the principles of free consent
and of good faith and the pacta sunt servanda Article 1
rule are universally recognized, [Scope of the present Convention]
AFFIRMING that disputes concerning treat- The present Convention applies to treaties
ies, like other international disputes, should be between States.
settled by peaceful means and in conformity
with the principles of justice and international Article 2
law, [Use of terms]
RECALLING the determination of the 1. For the purposes of the present
peoples of the United Nations to establish Convention:
conditions under which justice and respect for
the obligations arising from treaties can be (a) ‘treaty’ means an international agreement
maintained, concluded between States in written form
and governed by international law,
HAVING IN MIND the principles of inter- whether embodied in a single instrument
national law embodied in the Charter of the or in two or more related instruments and
United Nations, such as the principles of the whatever its particular designation;
equal rights and self-determination of peoples, (b) ‘ratification’, ‘acceptance’, ‘approval’ and
of the sovereign equality and independence of ‘accession’ mean in each case the inter-
all States, of non-interference in the domestic national act so named whereby a State
affairs of States, of the prohibition of the threat establishes on the international plane its
or use of force and of universal respect for, and consent to be bound by a treaty;
observance of, human rights and fundamental (c) ‘full powers’ means a document emanating
freedoms for all, from the competent authority of a State
BELIEVING that the codification and pro- designating a person or persons to repre-
gressive development of the law of treaties sent the State for negotiating, adopting or
achieved in the present Convention will pro- authenticating the text of a treaty, for
mote the purposes of the United Nations set expressing the consent of the State to be
forth in the Charter, namely, the maintenance bound by a treaty, or for accomplishing
of international peace and security, the develop- any other act with respect to a treaty;

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(d) ‘reservation’ means a unilateral statement, Article 4


however phrased or named, made by a [Non-retroactivity of the
State, when signing, ratifying, accepting, present Convention]
approving or acceding to a treaty, whereby
it purports to exclude or to modify the Without prejudice to the application of any
legal effect of certain provisions of the rules set forth in the present Convention to
treaty in their application to that State; which treaties would be subject under inter-
(e) ‘negotiating State’ means a State which national law independently of the Convention,
took part in the drawing up and adoption the Convention applies only to treaties which
of the text of the treaty; are concluded by States after the entry into
(f ) ‘contracting State’ means a State which has force of the present Convention with regard to
consented to be bound by the treaty, such States.
whether or not the treaty has entered into
force; Article 5
(g) ‘party’ means a State which has consented [Treaties constituting international
to be bound by the treaty and for which organizations and treaties adopted
the treaty is in force; within an international organization]
(h) ‘third State’ means a State not a party to
The present Convention applies to any treaty
the treaty;
which is the constituent instrument of an
(i) ‘international organization’ means an
international organization and to any treaty
intergovernmental organization.
adopted within an international organization
2. The provisions of paragraph 1 regarding the without prejudice to any relevant rules of the
use of terms in the present Convention are organization.
without prejudice to the use of those terms or
to the meanings which may be given to them Part II Conclusion and Entry
in the internal law of any State.
into Force of Treaties
Article 3 Section 1: Conclusion of treaties
[International agreements not within
Article 6
the scope of the present Convention] [Capacity of States to conclude treaties]
The fact that the present Convention does not
Every State possesses capacity to conclude
apply to international agreements concluded
treaties.
between the States and other subjects of
international law or between such other sub-
jects of international law, or to international
Article 7
[Full powers]
agreements not in written form, shall not
affect: 1. A person is considered as representing a
(a) the legal force of such agreements; State for the purpose of adopting or authenti-
(b) the application to them of any of the rules cating the text of a treaty or for the purpose of
set forth in the present Convention to expressing the consent of the State to be bound
which they would be subject under inter- by a treaty if:
national law independently of the (a) he produces appropriate full powers; or
Convention; (b) it appears from the practice of the States
(c) the application of the Convention to the concerned or from other circumstances
relations of States as between themselves that their intention was to consider that
under international agreements to which person as representing the State for such
other subjects of international law are also purposes and to dispense with full powers.
parties. 2. In virtue of their functions and without
having to produce full powers, the following
are considered as representing their State:

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

(a) Heads of State, Heads of Government and Article 11


Ministers for Foreign Affairs, for the pur- [Means of expressing consent to
pose of performing all acts relating to the be bound by a treaty]
conclusion of a treaty;
(b) heads of diplomatic missions, for the The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty
purpose of adopting the text of a treaty may be expressed by signature, exchange of
between the accrediting State and the State instruments constituting a treaty, ratification,
to which they are accredited; acceptance, approval or accession, or by any
(c) representatives accredited by States to an other means if so agreed.
international conference or to an inter-
national organization or one of its organs, Article 12
for the purpose of adopting the text of a [Consent to be bound by a treaty
treaty in that conference, organization or expressed by signature]
organ.
1. The consent of a State to be bound by a
treaty is expressed by the signature of its repre-
Article 8 sentative when:
[Subsequent confirmation of an act
performed without authorization] (a) the treaty provides that signature shall
have that effect;
An act relating to the conclusion of a treaty (b) it is otherwise established that the negoti-
performed by a person who cannot be con- ating States were agreed that signature
sidered under article 7 as authorized to repre- should have that effect; or
sent a State for that purpose is without legal (c) the intention of the State to give that
effect unless afterwards confirmed by that effect to the signature appears from the
State. full powers of its representative or was
expressed during the negotiation.
Article 9 2. For the purposes of paragraph 1:
[Adoption of the text]
(a) the initialling of a text constitutes a signa-
1. The adoption of the text of a treaty takes ture of the treaty when it is established that
place by the consent of all the States partici- the negotiating States so agreed;
pating in its drawing up except as provided in (b) the signature ad referendum of a treaty
paragraph 2. by a representative, if confirmed by his
State, constitutes a full signature of the
2. The adoption of the text of a treaty at an
treaty.
international conference takes place by the vote
of two thirds of the States present and voting,
unless by the same majority they shall decide to Article 13
apply a different rule. [Consent to be bound by a treaty
expressed by an exchange of
Article 10 instruments constituting a treaty]
[Authentication of the text] The consent of States to be bound by a
The text of a treaty is established as authentic treaty constituted by instruments exchanged
and definitive: between them is expressed by that exchange
when;
(a) by such procedures as may be provided for
in the text or agreed upon by the States (a) the instruments provide that their
participating in its drawing up; or exchange shall have that effect; or
(b) failing such procedure, by the signature, (b) it is otherwise established that those States
signature ad referendum or initialling by were agreed that the exchange of instru-
the representatives of those States of the ments should have that effect.
text of the treaty or of the Final Act of a
conference incorporating the text.

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Appendix 12

Article 14 (c) their notification to the contracting States


[Consent to be bound by a treaty expressed or to the depositary, if so agreed.
by ratification, acceptance or approval]
1. The consent of a State to be bound by a Article 17
treaty is expressed by ratification when: [Consent to be bound by part of a treaty
and choice of differing provisions]
(a) the treaty provides for such consent to be
expressed by means of ratification; 1. Without prejudice to articles 19 to 23, the
(b) it is otherwise established that the negoti- consent of a State to be bound by part of a
ating States were agreed that ratification treaty is effective only if the treaty so permits or
should be required; the other contracting States so agree.
(c) the representative of the State has signed
the treaty subject to ratification; or 2. The consent of a State to be bound by a
(d) the intention of the State to sign the treaty treaty which permits a choice between dif-
subject to ratification appears from the fering provisions is effective only if it is made
full powers of its representative or was clear to which of the provisions the consent
expressed during the negotiation. relates.

2. The consent of a State to be bound by a


treaty is expressed by acceptance or approval Article 18
under conditions similar to those which apply [Obligation not to defeat the object
to ratification. and purpose of a treaty prior to
its entry into force]
Article 15 A State is obliged to refrain from acts which
[Consent to be bound by a treaty would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty
expressed by accession] when:
The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty (a) it has signed the treaty or has exchanged
is expressed by accession when: instruments constituting the treaty subject
to ratification, acceptance or approval,
(a) the treaty provides that such consent may
until it shall have made its intention
be expressed by that State by means of
clear not to become a party to the treaty;
accession;
or
(b) it is otherwise established that the negoti-
(b) it has expressed its consent to be bound by
ating States were agreed that such consent
the treaty, pending the entry into force of
may be expressed by that State by means of
the treaty and provided that such entry
accession; or
into force is not unduly delayed.
(c) all the parties have subsequently agreed
that such consent may be expressed by that
State by means of accession. Section 2: Reservations
Article 19
Article 16 [Formulation of reservations]
[Exchange or deposit of instruments
A State may, when signing, ratifying, accept-
of ratification, acceptance,
ing, approving or acceding to a treaty, formu-
approval or accession]
late a reservation unless:
Unless the treaty otherwise provides, instru- (a) the reservation is prohibited by the treaty;
ments of ratification, acceptance, approval or (b) the treaty provides that only specified
accession establish the consent of a State to be reservations, which do not include the
bound by a treaty upon: reservation in question, may be made; or
(a) their exchange between the contracting (c) in cases not falling under sub-paragraphs
States; (a) and (b), the reservation is incompatible
(b) their deposit with the depositary; or with the object and purpose of the treaty.

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

Article 20 Article 21
[Acceptance of and objection [Legal effects of reservations and
to reservations] of objections to reservations]
1. A reservation expressly authorized by a 1. A reservation established with regard to
treaty does not require any subsequent accept- another party in accordance with articles 19,
ance by the other contracting States unless the 20 and 23:
treaty so provides. (a) modifies for the reserving State in its
2. When it appears from the limited number relations with that other party the pro-
of the negotiating States and the object and visions of the treaty to which the reserva-
purpose of a treaty that the application of the tion relates to the extent of the reservation;
treaty in its entirety between all the parties is an and
essential condition of the consent of each one (b) modifies those provisions to the same
to be bound by the treaty, a reservation requires extent for that other party in its relations
acceptance by all the parties. with the reserving State.
2. The reservation does not modify the pro-
3. When a treaty is a constituent instrument
visions of the treaty for the other parties to the
of an international organization and unless
treaty inter se.
it otherwise provides, a reservation requires
the acceptance of the competent organ of that 3. When a State objecting to a reservation has
organization. not opposed the entry into force of the treaty
between itself and the reserving State, the pro-
4. In cases not falling under the preceding
visions to which the reservation relates do not
paragraphs and unless the treaty otherwise
apply as between the two States to the extent of
provides:
the reservation.
(a) acceptance by another contracting State of
a reservation constitutes the reserving State Article 22
a party to the treaty in relation to that [Withdrawal of reservations and
other State if or when the treaty is in force of objections to reservations]
for those States;
(b) an objection by another contracting State 1. Unless the treaty otherwise provides, a
to a reservation does not preclude the reservation may be withdrawn at any time
entry into force of the treaty as between and the consent of a State which has accepted
the objecting and reserving States unless a the reservation is not required for its
contrary intention is definitely expressed withdrawal.
by the objecting State; 2. Unless the treaty otherwise provides, an
(c) an act expressing a State’s consent to be objection to a reservation may be withdrawn at
bound by the treaty and containing a any time.
reservation is effective as soon as at least
one other contracting State has accepted 3. Unless the treaty otherwise provides, or it is
the reservation. otherwise agreed:
5. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 4 and (a) the withdrawal of a reservation becomes
unless the treaty otherwise provides, a reserva- operative in relation to another contract-
tion is considered to have been accepted by ing State only when notice of it has been
a State if it shall have raised no objection to received by that State;
the reservation by the end of a period of (b) the withdrawal of an objection to a reser-
twelve months after it was notified of the vation becomes operative only when
reservation or by the date on which it expressed notice of it has been received by the State
its consent to be bound by the treaty, which- which formulated the reservation.
ever is later.

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Article 23 Article 25
[Procedure regarding reservations] [Provisional application]
1. A reservation, an express acceptance of a 1. A treaty or a part of a treaty is applied pro-
reservation and an objection to a reservation visionally pending its entry into force if:
must be formulated in writing and communi- (a) the treaty itself so provides; or
cated to the contracting States and other States (b) the negotiating States have in some other
entitled to become parties to the treaty. manner so agreed.
2. If formulated when signing the treaty 2. Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the
subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, negotiating States have otherwise agreed, the
a reservation must be formally confirmed by provisional application of a treaty or a part
the reserving State when expressing its consent of a treaty with respect to a State shall be ter-
to be bound by the treaty. In such a case the minated if that State notifies the other States
reservation shall be considered as having been between which the treaty is being applied pro-
made on the date of its confirmation. visionally of its intention not to become a
party to the treaty.
3. An express acceptance of, or an objection
to, a reservation made previously to confirm-
ation of the reservation does not itself require
Part III Observance, Application
confirmation. and Interpretation of Treaties
4. The withdrawal of a reservation or of an Section 1: Observance of treaties
objection to a reservation must be formulated Article 26
in writing. [Pacta sunt servanda]

Section 3: Entry into force and Every treaty in force is binding upon the par-
ties to it and must be performed by them in
provisional application of treaties good faith.
Article 24
[Entry into force] Article 27
[Internal law and observance of treaties]
1. A treaty enters into force in such manner
and upon such date as it may provide or as the A party may not invoke the provisions of its
negotiating States may agree. internal law as justification for its failure to
perform a treaty. This rule is without prejudice
2. Failing any such provision or agreement, a
to article 46.
treaty enters into force as soon as consent to be
bound by the treaty has been established for all Section 2: Application of treaties
the negotiating States.
Article 28
3. When the consent of a State to be bound by [Non-retroactivity of treaties]
a treaty is established on a date after the treaty
has come into force, the treaty enters into force Unless a different intention appears from the
for that State on that date, unless the treaty treaty or is otherwise established, its provisions
otherwise provides. do not bind a party in relation to any act or
fact which took place or any situation which
4. The provisions of a treaty regulating the ceased to exist before the date of the entry into
authentication of its text, the establishment of force of the treaty with respect to that party.
the consent of States to be bound by the treaty,
the manner or date of its entry into force, Article 29
reservations, the functions of the depositary [Territorial scope of treaties]
and other matters arising necessarily before the
entry into force of the treaty apply from the Unless a different intention appears from the
time of the adoption of its text. treaty or is otherwise established, a treaty is

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

binding upon each party in respect of its entire 2. The context for the purpose of the inter-
territory. pretation of a treaty shall comprise, in addition
to the text, including its preamble and annexes:
Article 30 (a) any agreement relating to the treaty which
[Application of successive treaties was made between all the parties in con-
relating to the same subject-matter] nexion with the conclusion of the treaty;
(b) any instrument which was made by one or
1. Subject to article 103 of the Charter of the
more parties in connexion with the con-
United Nations, the rights and obligations of
clusion of the treaty and accepted by the
States parties to successive treaties relating to
other parties as an instrument related to
the same subject-matter shall be determined in
the treaty.
accordance with the following paragraphs.
3. There shall be taken into account, together
2. When a treaty specifies that it is subject to, with the context:
or that it is not to be considered as incom-
patible with, an earlier or later treaty, the (a) any subsequent agreement between the
provisions of that other treaty prevail. parties regarding the interpretation of the
treaty or the application of its provisions;
3. When all the parties to the earlier treaty are (b) any subsequent practice in the applica-
parties also to the later treaty but the earlier tion of the treaty which establishes the
treaty is not terminated or suspended in oper- agreement of the parties regarding its
ation under article 59, the earlier treaty applies interpretation;
only to the extent that its provisions are com- (c) any relevant rules of international law
patible with those of the later treaty. applicable in the relations between the
parties.
4. When the parties to the later treaty do not
include all the parties to the earlier one: 4. A special meaning shall be given to a term if
it is established that the parties so intended.
(a) as between States parties to both treaties
the same rule applies as in paragraph 3;
(b) as between a State party to both treaties Article 32
and a State party to only one of the treat- [Supplementary means of interpretation]
ies, the treaty to which both States are Recourse may be had to supplementary means
parties governs their mutual rights and of interpretation, including the preparatory
obligations. work of the treaty and the circumstances of its
5. Paragraph 4 is without prejudice to article conclusion, in order to confirm the meaning
41, or to any question of the termination resulting from the application of article 31, or
or suspension of the operation of a treaty to determine the meaning when the interpret-
under article 60 or to any question of responsi- ation according to article 31:
bility which may arise for a State from the
(a) leaves the meaning ambiguous or obscure;
conclusion or application of a treaty the pro-
or
visions of which are incompatible with its
(b) leads to a result which is manifestly absurd
obligations towards another State under
or unreasonable.
another treaty.

Article 33
Section 3: Interpretation of treaties [Interpretation of treaties authenticated
Article 31 in two or more languages]
[General rule of interpretation]
1. When a treaty has been authenticated in
1. A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in two or more languages, the text is equally
accordance with the ordinary meaning to be authoritative in each language, unless the
given to the terms of the treaty in their context treaty provides or the parties agree that, in case
and in the light of its object and purpose. of divergence, a particular text shall prevail.

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2. A version of the treaty in a language other Article 37


than one of those in which the text was authen- [Revocation or modification of
ticated shall be considered an authentic text obligations or rights of third States]
only if the treaty so provides or the parties so
agree. 1. When an obligation has arisen for a third
State in conformity with article 35, the obli-
3. The terms of the treaty are presumed to gation may be revoked or modified only with
have the same meaning in each authentic the consent of the parties to the treaty and of
text. the third State, unless it is established that they
had otherwise agreed.
4. Except where a particular text prevails in
accordance with paragraph 1, when a com- 2. When a right has arisen for a third State in
parison of the authentic texts discloses a dif- conformity with article 36, the right may not
ference of meaning which the application be revoked or modified by the parties if it is
of articles 31 and 32 does not remove, the established that the right was intended not
meaning which best reconciles the texts, to be revocable or subject to modification
having regard to the object and purpose of the without the consent of the third State.
treaty, shall be adopted.

Section 4: Treaties and third states Article 38


[Rules in a treaty becoming binding on
Article 34 third States through international custom]
[General rule regarding third States]
Nothing in articles 34 to 37 precludes a rule set
A treaty does not create either obligations or forth in a treaty from becoming binding upon
rights for a third State without its consent. a third State as a customary rule of inter-
national law, recognized as such.
Article 35
[Treaties providing for obligations
for third States]
Part IV Amendment and
Modification of Treaties
An obligation arises for a third State from a
provision of a treaty if the parties to the treaty
Article 39
intend the provision to be the means of estab-
[General rule regarding the
lishing the obligation and the third State amendment of treaties]
expressly accepts that obligation in writing. A treaty may be amended by agreement
between the parties. The rules laid down in
Article 36 Part II apply to such an agreement except in so
[Treaties providing for rights far as the treaty may otherwise provide.
for third States]
1. A right arises for a third State from a pro- Article 40
vision of a treaty if the parties to the treaty [Amendment of multilateral treaties]
intend the provision to accord that right either
1. Unless the treaty otherwise provides, the
to the third State, or to a group of States to
amendment of multilateral treaties shall be
which it belongs, or to all States, and the third
governed by the following paragraphs.
State assents thereto. Its assent shall be pre-
sumed so long as the contrary is not indicated, 2. Any proposal to amend a multilateral treaty
unless the treaty otherwise provides. as between all the parties must be notified to all
2. A State exercising a right in accordance with the contracting States, each one of which shall
paragraph 1 shall comply with the conditions have the right to take part in:
for its exercise provided for in the treaty or (a) the decision as to the action to be taken in
established in conformity with the treaty. regard to such proposal;

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

(b) the negotiation and conclusion of any Part V Invalidity, Termination and
agreement for the amendment of the Suspension of the Operation of
treaty. Treaties
3. Every State entitled to become a party to
the treaty shall also be entitled to become a
Section 1: General provisions
party to the treaty as amended. Article 42
[Validity and continuance in
4. The amending agreement does not bind force of treaties]
any State already a party to the treaty which
does not become a party to the amending 1. The validity of a treaty or of the consent
agreement; article 30, paragraph 4(b), applies of a State to be bound by a treaty may be
in relation to such State. impeached only through the application of the
present Convention.
5. Any State which becomes a party to the
treaty after the entry into force of the amend- 2. The termination of a treaty, its denunci-
ing agreement shall, failing an expression of a ation or the withdrawal of a party, may take
different intention by that State: place only as a result of the application of the
provisions of the treaty or of the present Con-
(a) be considered as a party to the treaty as
vention. The same rule applies to suspension of
amended; and
the operation of a treaty.
(b) be considered as a party to the unamended
treaty in relation to any party to the treaty
not bound by the amending agreement. Article 43
[Obligations imposed by international
law independently of a treaty]
Article 41
[Agreements to modify multilateral The invalidity, termination or denunciation
treaties between certain of the of a treaty, the withdrawal of a party from
parties only] it, or the suspension of its operation, as a
result of the application of the present
1. Two or more of the parties to a multilateral Convention or of the provisions of the treaty,
treaty may conclude an agreement to modify shall not in any way impair the duty of
the treaty as between themselves alone if: any State to fulfil any obligation embodied
(a) the possibility of such a modification is in the treaty to which it would be subject
provided for by the treaty; or under international law independently of the
(b) the modification in question is not pro- treaty.
hibited by the treaty and:
(i) does not affect the enjoyment by the
Article 44
other parties of their rights under
[Separability of treaty provisions]
the treaty or the performance of their
obligations; 1. A right of a party, provided for in a treaty or
(ii) does not relate to a provision, deroga- arising under article 56, to denounce, with-
tion from which is incompatible draw from or suspend the operation of the
with the effective execution of the treaty may be exercised only with respect to the
object and purpose of the treaty as a whole treaty unless the treaty otherwise pro-
whole. vides or the parties otherwise agree.

2. Unless in a case falling under paragraph 2. A ground for invalidating, terminating,


1(a) the treaty otherwise provides, the parties withdrawing from or suspending the operation
in question shall notify the other parties of of a treaty recognized in the present Conven-
their intention to conclude the agreement and tion may be invoked only with respect to the
of the modification to the treaty for which it whole treaty except as provided in the follow-
provides. ing paragraphs or in article 60.

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3. If the ground relates solely to particular in violation of a provision of its internal law
clauses, it may be invoked only with respect to regarding competence to conclude treaties as
those clauses where: invalidating its consent unless that violation
(a) the said clauses are separable from the was manifest and concerned a rule of its
remainder of the treaty with regard to their internal law of fundamental importance.
application; 2. A violation is manifest if it would be objec-
(b) it appears from the treaty or is otherwise tively evident to any State conducting itself in
established that acceptance of those clauses the matter in accordance with normal practice
was not an essential basis of the consent of and in good faith.
the other party or parties to be bound by
the treaty as a whole; and
(c) continued performance of the remainder
Article 47
[Specific restrictions on authority to
of the treaty would not be unjust.
express the consent of a State]
4. In cases falling under articles 49 and 50 the
State entitled to invoke the fraud or corruption If the authority of a representative to express
may do so with respect either to the whole the consent of a State to be bound by a
treaty or, subject to paragraph 3, to the particu- particular treaty has been made subject to a
lar clauses alone. specific restriction, his omission to observe
that restriction may not be invoked as
5. In cases falling under articles 51, 52 and 53, invalidating the consent expressed by him
no separation of the provisions of the treaty is unless the restriction was notified to the other
permitted. negotiating States prior to his expressing such
consent.
Article 45
[Loss of a right to invoke a ground Article 48
for invalidating, terminating, [Error]
withdrawing from or suspending 1. A State may invoke an error in a treaty as
the operation of a treaty] invalidating its consent to be bound by the
treaty if the error relates to a fact or situation
A State may no longer invoke a ground for
which was assumed by that State to exist at the
invalidating, terminating, withdrawing from
time when the treaty was concluded and
or suspending the operation of a treaty under
formed an essential basis of its consent to be
articles 46 to 50 or articles 60 and 62 if, after
bound by the treaty.
becoming aware of the facts:
(a) it shall have expressly agreed that the treaty 2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply if the State in
is valid or remains in force or continues in question contributed by its own conduct to the
operation, as the case may be; or error or if the circumstances were such as to
(b) it must by reason of its conduct be put that State on notice of a possible error.
considered as having acquiesced in the
3. An error relating only to the wording of
validity of the treaty or in its maintenance
the text of a treaty does not affect its validity;
in force or in operation, as the case may
article 79 then applies.
be.

Section 2: Invalidity of treaties Article 49


[Fraud]
Article 46
[Provisions of internal law regarding If a State has been induced to conclude a treaty
by the fraudulent conduct of another negotiat-
competence to conclude treaties]
ing State, the State may invoke the fraud as
1. A State may not invoke the fact that its con- invalidating its consent to be bound by the
sent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed treaty.

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

Article 50 (a) in conformity with the provisions of the


[Corruption of a representative of a State] treaty; or
(b) at any time by consent of all the parties
If the expression of a State’s consent to be after consultation with the other contract-
bound by a treaty has been procured through ing States.
the corruption of its representative directly or
indirectly by another negotiating State, the
State may invoke such corruption as invalidat-
Article 55
ing its consent to be bound by the treaty.
[Reduction of the parties to a
multilateral treaty below the number
Article 51 necessary for its entry into force]
[Coercion of a representative of a State] Unless the treaty otherwise provides, a multi-
The expression of a State’s consent to be lateral treaty does not terminate by reason only
bound by a treaty which has been procured by of the fact that the number of the parties falls
the coercion of its representative through acts below the number necessary for its entry into
or threats directed against him shall be without force.
any legal effect.
Article 56
Article 52 [Denunciation of or withdrawal
[Coercion of a State by the threat from a treaty containing no
or use of force] provision regarding termination,
A treaty is void if its conclusion has been pro-
denunciation or withdrawal]
cured by the threat or use of force in violation 1. A treaty which contains no provision
of the principles of international law embodied regarding its termination and which does
in the Charter of the United Nations not provide for denunciation or withdrawal
is not subject to denunciation or withdrawal
Article 53 unless:
[Treaties conflicting with a peremptory
(a) it is established that the parties intended to
norm of general international
admit the possibility of denunciation or
law (jus cogens)] withdrawal; or
A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, (b) a right of denunciation or withdrawal
it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general may be implied by the nature of the
international law. For the purposes of the pres- treaty.
ent Convention, a peremptory norm of general 2. A party shall give not less than twelve
international law is a norm accepted and rec- months’ notice of its intention to denounce or
ognized by the international community of withdraw from a treaty under paragraph 1.
States as a whole as a norm from which no
derogation is permitted and which can be
Article 57
modified only by a subsequent norm of general
[Suspension of the operation of a
international law having the same character.
treaty under its provisions or by
consent of the parties]
Section 3: Termination and
suspension of the operation of treaties The operation of a treaty in regard to all
the parties or to a particular party may be
Article 54 suspended:
[Termination of or withdrawal from
(a) in conformity with the provisions of the
a treaty under its provisions or by
treaty; or
consent of the parties]
(b) at any time by consent of all the parties
The termination of a treaty or the withdrawal after consultation with the other contract-
of a party may take place: ing States.

1457
Appendix 12

Article 58 1. A material breach of bilateral treaty by one


[Suspension of the operation of a of the parties entitles the other to invoke the
multilateral treaty by agreement breach as a ground for terminating the treaty or
between certain of the parties only] suspending its operation in whole or in part.

1. Two or more parties to a multilateral treaty 2. A material breach of a multilateral treaty by


may conclude an agreement to suspend the one of the parties entitles:
operation of provisions of the treaty, tem- (a) the other parties by unanimous agreement
porarily and as between themselves alone, if: to suspend the operation of the treaty in
(a) the possibility of such a suspension is whole or in part or to terminate it either:
provided for by the treaty; or (i) in the relations between themselves
(b) the suspension in question is not pro- and the defaulting State, or
hibited by the treaty and: (ii) as between all the parties;
(i) does not affect the enjoyment by the (b) a party specially affected by the breach to
other parties of their rights under the invoke it as a ground for suspending the
treaty or the performance of their operation of the treaty in whole or in part
obligations; in the relations between itself and the
(ii) is not incompatible with the object defaulting State;
and purpose of the treaty. (c) any party other than the defaulting State
to invoke the breach as a ground for sus-
2. Unless in a case falling under paragraph
pending the operation of the treaty in
1(a) the treaty otherwise provides, the parties
whole or in part with respect to itself if
in question shall notify the other parties of
the treaty is of such a character that a
their intention to conclude the agreement and
material breach of its provisions by one
of those provisions of the treaty the operation
party radically changes the position of
of which they intend to suspend.
every party with respect to the further
performance of its obligations under the
Article 59 treaty.
[Termination or suspension of the
3. A material breach of a treaty, for the pur-
operation of a treaty implied by
poses of this article, consists in:
conclusion of a later treaty]
(a) a repudiation of the treaty not sanctioned
1. A treaty shall be considered as terminated by the present Convention; or
if all the parties to it conclude a later treaty (b) the violation of a provision essential to the
relating to the same subject-matter and: accomplishment of the object or purpose
(a) it appears from the later treaty or is other- of the treaty.
wise established that the parties intended 4. The foregoing paragraphs are without
that the matter should be governed by that prejudice to any provision in the treaty applic-
treaty; or able in the event of a breach.
(b) the provisions of the later treaty are so far
incompatible with those of the earlier one 5. Paragraphs 1 to 3 do not apply to provisions
that the two treaties are not capable of relating to the protection of the human
being applied at the same time. person contained in treaties of a humanitarian
character, in particular to provisions prohibit-
2. The earlier treaty shall be considered as only
ing any form of reprisals against persons pro-
suspended in operation if it appears from the
tected by such treaties.
later treaty or is otherwise established that such
was the intention of the parties.
Article 61
[Supervening impossibility of performance]
Article 60
[Termination or suspension of the operation 1. A party may invoke the impossibility of
of a treaty as a consequence of its breach] performing a treaty as a ground for terminating

1458
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

or withdrawing from it if the impossibility Article 63


results from the permanent disappearance [Severance of diplomatic or
or destruction of an object indispensable for consular relations]
the execution of the treaty. If the impossibility
is temporary, it may be invoked only as a The severance of diplomatic or consular rela-
ground for suspending the operation of the tions between parties to a treaty does not affect
treaty. the legal relations established between them by
the treaty except in so far as the existence of
2. Impossibility of performance may not be diplomatic or consular relations is indispens-
invoked by a party as a ground for terminating, able for the application of the treaty
withdrawing from or suspending the operation
of a treaty if the impossibility is the result of a Article 64
breach by that party either of an obligation [Emergence of a new peremptory norm
under the treaty or of any other international of general international law (jus cogens)]
obligation owed to any other party to the
treaty. If a new peremptory norm of general inter-
national law emerges, any existing treaty which
is in conflict with that norm becomes void and
Article 62
[Fundamental change of circumstances] terminates.

1. A fundamental change of circumstances Section 4: Procedure


which has occurred with regard to those exist- Article 65
ing at the time of the conclusion of a treaty, [Procedure to be followed with respect
and which was not foreseen by the parties, may to invalidity, termination, withdrawal
not be invoked as a ground for terminating or from or suspension of the operation
withdrawing from the treaty unless: of a treaty]
(a) the existence of those circumstances con-
1. A party which, under the provisions of the
stituted an essential basis of the consent
present Convention, invokes either a defect in
of the parties to be bound by the treaty;
its consent to be bound by a treaty or a ground
and
for impeaching the validity of a treaty, termin-
(b) the effect of the change is radically to
ating it, withdrawing from it or suspending its
transform the extent of obligations still to
operation, must notify the other parties of its
be performed under the treaty.
claim. The notification shall indicate the
2. A fundamental change of circumstances measure proposed to be taken with respect to
may not be invoked as a ground for terminat- the treaty and the reasons therefor.
ing or withdrawing from a treaty:
2. If, after the expiry of a period which, except
(a) if the treaty establishes a boundary; or
in cases of special urgency, shall not be less
(b) if the fundamental change is the result of a
than three months after the receipt of the noti-
breach by the party invoking it either of an
fication, no party has raised any objection, the
obligation under the treaty or of any other
party making the notification may carry out in
international obligation owed to any other
the manner provided in article 67 the measure
party to the treaty.
which it has proposed.
3. If, under the foregoing paragraphs, a party
may invoke a fundamental change of circ- 3. If, however, objection has been raised by
umstances as a ground for terminating or any other party, the parties shall seek a solution
withdrawing from a treaty it may also invoke through the means indicated in Article 33 of
the change as a ground for suspending the the Charter of the United Nations.
operation of the treaty. 4. Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall
affect the rights or obligations of the parties
under any provisions in force binding the par-
ties with regard to the settlement of disputes.

1459
Appendix 12

5. Without prejudice to article 45, the fact Article 68


that a State has not previously made the notifi- [Revocation of notifications and
cation prescribed in paragraph 1 shall not pre- instruments provided for in
vent it from making such notification in articles 65 and 67]
answer to another party claiming performance
of the treaty or alleging its violation. A notification or instrument provided for in
article 65 or 67 may be revoked at any time
before it takes effect.
Article 66
[Procedures for judicial settlement, Section 5: Consequences of the
arbitration and conciliation] invalidity, termination or suspension
If, under paragraph 3 of article 65, no solution
of the operation of a treaty
has been reached within a period of twelve Article 69
months following the date on which the objec- [Consequences of the invalidity of a treaty]
tion was raised, the following procedures shall
be followed: 1. A treaty the invalidity of which is estab-
lished under the present Convention is void.
(a) any one of the parties to a dispute concern- The provisions of a void treaty have no legal
ing the application or the interpretation of force.
article 53 or 64 may, by a written applica-
tion, submit it to the International Court 2. If acts have nevertheless been performed in
of Justice for a decision unless the parties reliance on such a treaty:
by common consent agree to submit the (a) each party may require any other party to
dispute to arbitration; establish as far as possible in their mutual
(b) any one of the parties to a dispute concern- relations the position that would have
ing the application or the interpretation existed if the acts had not been performed;
of any of the other articles in Part V of the (b) acts performed in good faith before the
present Convention may set in motion invalidity was invoked are not rendered
the procedure specified in the Annex to unlawful by reason only of the invalidity
the Convention by submitting a request of the treaty.
to that effect to the Secretary-General of 3. In cases falling under articles 49, 50, 51 or
the United Nations. 52, paragraph 2 does not apply with respect
to the party to which the fraud, the act of
Article 67 corruption or the coercion is imputable.
[Instruments for declaring invalid, 4. In the case of the invalidity of a particular
terminating, withdrawing from or State’s consent to be bound by a multilateral
suspending the operation of a treaty] treaty, the foregoing rules apply in the relations
1. The notification provided for under article between that State and the parties to the treaty.
65, paragraph 1 must be made in writing.
Article 70
2. Any act declaring invalid, terminating, [Consequences of the
withdrawing from or suspending the operation termination of a treaty]
of a treaty pursuant to the provisions of the
treaty or of paragraphs 2 or 3 of article 65 1. Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the
shall be carried out through an instrument parties otherwise agree, the termination of a
communicated to the other parties. If the treaty under its provisions or in accordance
instrument is not signed by the Head of State, with the present Convention:
Head of Government or Minister for Foreign (a) releases the parties from any obligation
Affairs, the representative of the State com- further to perform the treaty;
municating it may be called upon to produce (b) does not affect any right, obligation or
full powers. legal situation of the parties created

1460
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

through the execution of the treaty prior (b) does not otherwise affect the legal relations
to its termination. between the parties established by the
2. If a State denounces or withdraws from a treaty.
multilateral treaty, paragraph 1 applies in the 2. During the period of the suspension the
relations between that State and each of the parties shall refrain from acts tending to
other parties to the treaty from the date when obstruct the resumption of the operation of the
such denunciation or withdrawal takes effect. treaty.

Article 71 Part VI Miscellaneous Provisions


[Consequences of the invalidity of a
treaty which conflicts with a peremptory Article 73
norm of general international law] [Cases of State succession, State
responsibility and outbreak of hostilities]
1. In the case of a treaty which is void under
article 53 the parties shall: The provisions of the present Convention shall
not prejudge any question that may arise in
(a) eliminate as far as possible the con-
regard to a treaty from a succession of States or
sequences of any act performed in reliance
from the international responsibility of a State
on any provision which conflicts with the
or from the outbreak of hostilities between
peremptory norm of general international
States.
law; and
(b) bring their mutual relations into conform-
ity with the peremptory norm of general
Article 74
international law.
[Diplomatic and consular relations
and the conclusion of treaties]
2. In the case of a treaty which becomes void
and terminates under article 64, the termi- The severance or absence of diplomatic or con-
nation of the treaty: sular relations between two or more States does
(a) releases the parties from any obligation not prevent the conclusion of treaties between
further to perform the treaty; those States. The conclusion of a treaty does
(b) does not affect any right, obligation or not in itself affect the situation in regard to
legal situation of the parties created diplomatic or consular relations.
through the execution of the treaty prior
to its termination; provided that those Article 75
rights, obligations or situations may there- [Case of an aggressor State]
after be maintained only to the extent that The provisions of the present Convention are
their maintenance is not in itself in con- without prejudice to any obligation in relation
flict with the new peremptory norm of to a treaty which may arise for an aggressor
general international law. State in consequence of measures taken in
conformity with the Charter of the United
Article 72 Nations with reference to that State’s
[Consequences of the suspension of aggression.
the operation of a treaty]
1. Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the Part VII Depositaries,
parties otherwise agree, the suspension of the Notifications, Corrections and
operation of a treaty under its provisions or in Registration
accordance with the present Convention:
Article 76
(a) releases the parties between which the
[Depositaries of treaties]
operation of the treaty is suspended from
the obligation to perform the treaty in 1. The designation of the depositary of a
their mutual relations during the period of treaty may be made by the negotiating States,
the suspension; either in the treaty itself or in some other

1461
Appendix 12

manner. The depositary may be one or more (h) performing the functions specified in
States, an international organization or the other provisions of the present Con-
chief administrative officer of the organiz- vention.
ation. 2. In the event of any difference appearing
2. The functions of the depositary of a treaty between a State and the depositary as to
are international in character and the deposit- the performance of the latter’s functions, the
ary is under an obligation to act impartially in depositary shall bring the question to the
their performance. In particular, the fact that attention of the signatory States and the con-
a treaty has not entered into force between tracting States or, where appropriate, of the
certain of the parties or that a difference has competent organ of the international organiza-
appeared between a State and a depositary with tion concerned.
regard to the performance of the latter’s func-
tions shall not affect that obligation. Article 78
[Notifications and communications]
Article 77 Except as the treaty or the present Convention
[Functions of depositaries] otherwise provide, any notification or com-
1. The functions of a depositary, unless munication to be made by any State under the
otherwise provided in the treaty or agreed by present Convention shall:
the contracting States, comprise in particular: (a) if there is no depositary, be transmitted
(a) keeping custody of the original text of the direct to the States for which it is
treaty and of any full powers delivered to intended, or if there is a depositary, to the
the depositary; latter;
(b) preparing certified copies of the original (b) be considered as having been made by the
text and preparing any further text of the State in question only upon its receipt by
treaty in such additional languages as may the State to which it was transmitted or,
be required by the treaty and transmitting as the case may be, upon its receipt by the
them to the parties and to the States depositary;
entitled to become parties to the treaty; (c) if transmitted to a depositary, be con-
(c) receiving any signatures to the treaty and sidered as received by the State for which it
receiving and keeping custody of any was intended only when the latter State
instruments, notifications and communi- has been informed by the depositary in
cations relating to it; accordance with article 77, paragraph 1(e).
(d) examining whether the signature or any
instrument, notification or communica- Article 79
tion relating to the treaty is in due and [Correction of errors in texts or
proper form and, if need be, bringing the in certified copies of treaties]
matter to the attention of the State in
question; 1. Where, after the authentication of the text
(e) informing the parties and the States of a treaty, the signatory States and the con-
entitled to become parties to the treaty of tracting States are agreed that it contains an
acts, notifications and communications error, the error shall, unless they decide upon
relating to the treaty; some other means of correction, be corrected:
(f ) informing the States entitled to become (a) by having the appropriate correction made
parties to the treaty when the number of in the text and causing the correction to
signatures or of instruments of ratification, be initialled by duly authorized
acceptance, approval or accession required representatives;
for the entry into force of the treaty has (b) by executing or exchanging an instrument
been received or deposited; or instruments setting out the correction
(g) registering the treaty with the Secretariat which it has been agreed to make; or
of the United Nations; (c) by executing a corrected text of the whole

1462
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

treaty by the same procedure as in the case Part VIII Final Provisions
of the original text.
Article 81
2. Where the treaty is one for which there is a [Signature]
depositary, the latter shall notify the signatory
States and the contracting States of the error The present Convention shall be open for sig-
and of the proposal to correct it and shall nature by all States Members of the United
specify an appropriate time-limit within which Nations or of any of the specialized agencies or
objection to the proposed correction may be of the International Atomic Energy Agency or
raised. If, on the expiry of the time-limit: parties to the Statute of the International
Court of Justice, and by any other State invited
(a) no objection has been raised, the deposit-
by the General Assembly of the United
ary shall make and initial the correction in
Nations to become a party to the Convention,
the text and shall execute a procès-verbal of
as follows: until 30 November 1969, at the
the rectification of the text and communi-
Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the
cate a copy of it to the parties and to the
Republic of Austria, and subsequently, until 30
States entitled to become parties to the
April 1970, at United Nations Headquarters
treaty;
New York
(b) an objection has been raised, the deposit-
ary shall communicate the objection to
the signatory States and to the contracting Article 82
States. [Ratification]

3. The rules in paragraphs 1 and 2 apply also The present Convention is subject to ratifica-
where the text has been authenticated in two tion. The instruments of ratification shall be
or more languages and it appears that there is a deposited with the Secretary-General of the
lack of concordance which the signatory States United Nations.
and the contracting States agree should be
corrected. Article 83
[Accession]
4. The corrected text replaces the defective
text ab initio, unless the signatory States and The present Convention shall remain open
the contracting States otherwise decide. for accession by any State belonging to any of
the categories mentioned in article 81. The
5. The correction of the text of a treaty that instruments of accession shall be deposited with
has been registered shall be notified to the Sec- the Secretary-General of the United Nations.1
retariat of the United Nations.

6. Where an error is discovered in a certified


Article 84
[Entry into force]
copy of a treaty, the depositary shall execute a
procès-verbal specifying the rectification and 1. The present Convention shall enter into
communicate a copy of it to the signatory force on the thirtieth day following the date
States and to the contracting States.
1
Instrument of accession deposited for
Article 80 Australia 13 June 1974, with the following
[Registration and publication of treaties] declaration:
‘In acceding to the Vienna Convention
1. Treaties shall, after their entry into force, be on the Law of Treaties the Government of
transmitted to the Secretariat of the United Australia declares its understanding that
Nations for registration or filing and recording, nothing in Article 66 of the Convention
as the case may be, and for publication. is intended to exclude the jurisdiction of
the International Court of Justice where
2. The designation of a depositary shall con- such jurisdiction exists under any provi-
stitute authorization for it to perform the acts sions in force binding the parties with
specified in the preceding paragraph. regard to the settlement of disputes.’

1463
Appendix 12

of deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of The State or States constituting one of the
ratification or accession.2 parties to the dispute shall appoint:
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the (a) one conciliator of the nationality of that
Convention after the deposit of the thirty-fifth State or of one of those States, who may or
instrument of ratification or accession, the may not be chosen from the list referred to
Convention shall enter into force on the in paragraph 1; and
thirtieth day after deposit by such State of its (b) one conciliator not of the nationality of
instrument of ratification or accession. that State or of any of those States, who
shall be chosen from the list.
Article 85 The State or States constituting the other party
[Authentic texts]
to the dispute shall appoint two conciliators
The original of the present Convention, of in the same way. The four conciliators chosen
which the Chinese, English, French Russian by the parties shall be appointed within sixty
and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall days following the date on which the Secretary-
be deposited with the Secretary-General of the General receives the request.
United Nations. The four conciliators shall, within sixty days
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned following the date of the last of their own
Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized appointments, appoint a fifth conciliator
thereto by their respective Governments, have chosen from the list, who shall be chairman.
signed the present Convention.
If the appointment of the chairman or of any
DONE AT VIENNA, this twenty-third day of the other conciliators has not been made
of May, one thousand nine hundred and sixty- within the period prescribed above for such
nine. appointment, it shall be made by the Secretary-
General within sixty days following the expiry
[Signatures not reproduced here.] of that period. The appointment of the chair-
man may be made by the Secretary-General
ANNEX either from the list or from the membership
of the International Law Commission. Any of
1. A list of conciliators consisting of qualified the periods within which appointments must
jurists shall be drawn up and maintained by be made may be extended by agreement
the Secretary-General of the United Nations. between the parties to the dispute.
To this end, every State which is a Member of
Any vacancy shall be filled in the manner
the United Nations or a party to the present
prescribed for the initial appointment.
Convention shall be invited to nominate two
conciliators, and the names of the persons so 3. The Conciliation Commission shall decide
nominated shall constitute the list. The term of its own procedure. The Commission, with the
a conciliator, including that of any conciliator consent of the parties to the dispute, may
nominated to fill a casual vacancy, shall be five invite any party to the treaty to submit to it its
years and may be renewed. A conciliator whose views orally or in writing. Decisions and
term expires shall continue to fulfil any func- recommendations of the Commission shall be
tion for which he shall have been chosen under made by a majority vote of the five members.
the following paragraph.
4. The Commission may draw the attention
2. When a request has been made to the Sec-
of the parties to the dispute to any measures
retary-General under article 66, the Secretary-
which might facilitate an amicable settlement.
General shall bring the dispute before a con-
ciliation commission constituted as follows: 5. The Commission shall hear the parties,
examine the claims and objections, and make
2
The Convention entered into force for proposals to the parties with a view to reaching
Australia and generally 27 January 1980. an amicable settlement of the dispute.

1464
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969

6. The Commission shall report within twelve than that of recommendations submitted for
months of its constitution. Its report shall the consideration of the parties in order to
be deposited with the Secretary-General and facilitate an amicable settlement of the dispute.
transmitted to the parties to the dispute. The
report of the Commission, including any con- 7. The Secretary-General shall provide the
clusions stated therein regarding the facts or Commission with such assistance and facilities
questions of law, shall not be binding upon as it may require. The expenses of the Com-
the parties and it shall have no other character mission shall be borne by the United Nations.

1465