- Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties — Travaux préparatoires — Treaties, application — Treaties, entry into force
This chapter surveys the often-complicated process of treaty-making. The process may be divided into four phases: (i) the drawing up and negotiation of the treaty; (ii) the adoption and authentication of the text; (iii) the expression of consent to be bound by the treaty; and (iv) the entry into force of the treaty. A universal quality of treaty-making is the absolute freedom of the negotiators, who remain masters of their own procedure. Negotiators have wide discretion in deciding the process to be followed for their discussions, the form of the final agreement, the means of consenting to be bound, and the ways in which the treaty enters into force. This explains why the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties’ codification renounced governing the negotiation phase, and restricted itself to reaffirming the discretion of negotiators while establishing a limited number of residual rules that will assist when specific issues remain undecided.
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