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Part IV Treaty Application, 14 Treaty Amendments

Jutta Brunnée

From: The Oxford Guide to Treaties (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Duncan B. Hollis

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 December 2023

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties — Treaties, amendments and modification

This chapter explores treaty amendments — an area where the practice regularly departs from the default rules of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), including procedural mechanisms that affect amendments without requiring each party’s explicit consent. The Convention built on draft articles that the International Law Commission (ILC) submitted to the UN General Assembly in 1966. With some notable exceptions, the VCLT codified the existing customary international law on treaties. The topic of treaty amendment came to be included in the ILC’s draft articles only in 1964. Given the basic principle that a State’s rights under a treaty could not be modified without their consent, amendments were widely seen as raising political and diplomatic, rather than legal, issues.

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