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Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law [MPEiPro]

In Dubio Mitius

Luigi Crema

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 19 January 2021

Human rights — Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Published under the direction of Hélène Ruiz Fabri, with the support of the Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution, under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law.

1 In dubio mitius, literally ‘more leniently in case of doubt’, is a Latin interpretative maxim (Interpretative Maxims) used in international law to refer to a restrictive approach in interpreting the content of a treaty. Notwithstanding the Latin language, the origins of this maxim are not in Roman law, but in the ius commune, where the same idea appeared in slightly different maxims. The precise formula in dubio mitius is more recent, and first appeared in late-nineteenth-century scholarly works on criminal law. 2 The use of this precise wording in international...
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