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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Pacta Sunt Servanda

Anthony Aust†

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 May 2023

Good faith — General principles of international law — Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties — Treaties, conclusion — Treaties, entry into force — Object & purpose (treaty interpretation and) — Pacta sunt servanda — Treaties, invalidity, termination, suspension, withdrawal

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The pacta sunt servanda rule embodies an elementary and universally agreed principle fundamental to all legal systems (General Principles of Law). Although its good faith (bona fide) element runs through many aspects of international law—and the legal effect of certain unilateral statements rests on good faith—it is of prime importance for the stability of treaty relations (treaties). The oft-quoted Latin phrase means no more than that agreements which are legally binding must be performed. The third preamble to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties...
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