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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Reciprocity

Bruno Simma

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 April 2019

Subject(s):
General principles of international law — Customary international law — States, equality — Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties — Treaties, application

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Reciprocity is a basic phenomenon of social interaction and consequently a guiding principle behind the formation and application of law (see also General Principles of Law ). In highly developed domestic legal systems the idea of reciprocity has to a large extent been absorbed and supplanted by specific norms and institutions. Thus, particularly in criminal law, retribution (in a wide sense of the term) has been taken out of the hands of affected individuals or groups and has been brought into relationship with other principles. The lower the degree of...
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