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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Treaty-Making Power

Anne Peters

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 10 December 2023

Self-determination — Sovereignty — Statehood, legitimacy — Customary international law — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — EU Treaty — Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties — Recognition — Territory, dependent

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 Treaty-making power or treaty-making capacity, used here synonymously, is the legal capacity to conclude international treaties. The term was probably first employed by Wheaton (H Wheaton ‘The Elements of International Law’ in JB Scott [ed] The Classics of International Law [8th ed Carnegie Institution Washington 1936] 252). Today, the concept relates to two different legal levels: the power of an entity, eg a State, and the power of specific bodies or organs within that entity (eg the Heads of State). The former power is regulated by international law, the...
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