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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Desuetudo

Jan Wouters, Sten Verhoeven

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 January 2020

Subject(s):
Treaties, invalidity, termination, suspension, withdrawal — Treaties, amendments and modification — Sources, foundations and principles of international law

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The concepts of desuetudo or desuetude and obsoleteness or obsolescence have both been invoked as grounds for terminating treaties or certain norms in treaties (Treaties, Termination), but they do not appear as such in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969). Desuetudo concerns the discontinuance of conventional obligations because of practice inconsistent with the obligation, resulting in a subsequent rule of customary international law or amounting to a new tacit agreement due to lapse of time. However, the doctrine of desuetudo could also be...
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