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II Treaties and Conventions as a Source of Law

From: The Sources of International Law (2nd Edition)

Hugh Thirlway

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 September 2023

Pacta sunt servanda — Erga omnes obligations

This chapter begins with a discussion of the significance and effect of treaties as expressed in the principle pacta sunt servanda. The whole point of making a binding agreement is that each of the parties should be able to rely on performance of the treaty by the other party or parties. This should be so even when such performance may have become onerous or unwelcome to such other party or parties. A treaty is therefore one of the most evident ways in which rules binding on two or more States may come into existence, and thus an evident formal source of law. The remainder of the chapter covers the limits of treaty law, commitment to treaty obligations, and unilateral acts as inchoate treaties.

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