An old adage says that no one likes to talk about divorce before a wedding. Yet that is, in effect, precisely what States do when they negotiate new treaties. Buried in the back of most international agreements are provisions that describe procedures for the treaty parties to end their relationship. In addition, no fewer than thirteen articles of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) contain termination, denunciation, or withdrawal rules that apply when States do not negotiate treaty-specific rules on these topics.1 These ‘exit’ provisions share...
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