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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Treaties, Fundamental Change of Circumstances

Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 September 2019

Customary international law — State practice — Treaties, fundamental change of circumstances — Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

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

1 Art. 62 (1) Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969) (‘VCLT’) provides that, as a general rule, a fundamental change of circumstances, even if not foreseen by the parties, ‘may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty’ ( Treaties, Termination ). Hence, the principle of pacta sunt servanda prevails unless the treaty’s ‘stipulations come to place an undue burden on one of the parties as a result of a fundamental change of circumstances’ ( 1966 YBILC 258 para. 6 ). This is the case if the following conditions are cumulatively...
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