To become a party to a treaty, States, IOs, and other qualified subjects of international law must first express their consent to be bound by it. Generally, they do so through a concrete act that manifests a willingness to accept the international legal commitment embodied in the agreement. Article 12 VCLT identifies five vehicles for expressing consent: (i) definitive signature; (ii) an exchange of instruments constituting a treaty; (iii) ratification; (iv) acceptance or approval; and (v) accession. To that list, the 1986 VCLT adds (vi) an ‘act of formal...
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