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Treaties of International law and its criterias

Treaties of International law:

International treaty law basically consists of obligations expressly and it is voluntarily accepted by the states between themselves in the treaties. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties has mentioned a treaty as stated: «treaty» means an international agreement concluded in writing between States and governed by international law, whether embodied in one instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its special designation may be.

It’s Criterias

This definition of the treaty has led to case-law in order to define a treaty as an international agreement that catches up with the following criteria:

  • Criteria 1: Need of an agreement, meetings of wills.
  • Criterion 2: Requirement to conclude between subjects of international law: This criterion does not include agreements signed between states and private corporations, such as production sharing agreements. In 1952, in the United Kingdom v Iran case, the ICJ did not have any jurisdiction for a fight over the Anglo-Iranian Oil company being nationalized as the dispute born from an alleged leak of a contract between a state and a private company.
  • Criterion 3: Requirement to be governed by international law: Any agreement which is not governed by any domestic law shall be deemed to be a treaty.
  • Criterion 4: Total absence of any instrument: A treaty can be incarnated in a single instrument or two or more related instruments. For example, if France sends a letter asking the United States to increase its contribution to the budget of the North Atlantic Alliance, and the U.S. accepts the commitment, a treaty can be said to have emerged from the exchange.
  • Criterion 5: No need of designation: the designation of the treaty, no matter whether it’s a pact, convention, or agreement, it does not have any impact on the qualification of said agreements as being a treaty.
  • Unwritten criterion: need for the agreements to generate legal effects: This unwritten criterion is to exclude agreements that satisfy the conditions listed above, but are not meant to create the legal effect, such as memorandums of understanding.

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