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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Non-Binding Agreements

Philippe Gautier

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 September 2022

Good faith — Treaties, application — Effectiveness, principle of — Soft law — Unilateral acts

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 In international law, the expression ‘non-binding agreements’ refers to agreements which contain political or moral commitments but which are not intended to create legal rights and obligations. Non-binding agreements cover a great variety of instruments, from declarations (Declaration) recording statements of policy to formal agreements containing precise commitments. These agreements are also referred to by the term ‘gentlemen’s agreement’, which, in municipal law, designates a non–legally enforceable agreement which is ‘secured by the good faith and honour of...
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