The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties is what the name implies. It seems to have been twenty years in the making so it should have been got right. It does prove that law can be written in something like plain English. The section dealing with invalidity takes the position that States are competent to act on their own behalf; that they are not allowed to reject a treaty because their own representatives were corrupt, incompetent or Traitors. This implies that Her Majesty's Government's action in signing the Maastricht Treaty is binding notwithstanding the treachery of Maude and Hurd, their Treason At Maastricht when they signed it. They acted Ultra Vires [ in excess of their powers ] thus breaching their Oath of Office.
SECTION 2.Content and effects
INVALIDITY OF TREATIES
Provisions of internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties
1. A State may not invoke the fact that its consent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed in violation of a provision of its internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties as invalidating its internal law of fundamental importance.
2. A violation is manifest if it would be objectively evident to any State conducting itself in the matter in accordance with normal practice and in good faith.
Specific restrictions on authority to express the consent of a State
If the authority of a representative to express the consent of a State to be bound by a particular treaty has been made subject to a specific restriction, his omission to observe that restriction may not be invoked as invalidating the consent expressed by him unless the restriction was notified to the other negotiating States prior to his expressing such consent.
1. A State may invoke an error in a treaty as invalidating its consent to be bound by the treaty if the error relates to a fact or situation which was assumed by that State to exist at the time when the treaty was concluded and formed an essential basis of its consent to be bound by the treaty.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply if the State in question contributed by its own conduct to the error or if the circumstances were such as to put that State on notice of a possible error.
3. An error relating only to the wording of the text of a treaty does not affect its validity; article 79 then applies.
If a State has been induced to conclude a treaty by the fraudulent conduct of another negotiating State, the State may invoke the fraud as invalidating its consent to be bound by the treaty.
Corruption of a representative of a State
If the expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty has been procured through the corruption of its representative directly or indirectly by another negotiating State, the State may invoke such corruption as invalidating its consent to be bound by the treaty.
Coercion of a representative of a State
The expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty which has been procured by the coercion of its representative through acts or threats directed against him shall be without any legal effect.
Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force
A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations. "
Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”)
A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion , it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.
TERMINATION AND SUSPENSION OF THE OPERATION OF TREATIES
Article 54 Termination of or withdrawal from a treaty under its provisions or by consent of the parties The termination of a treaty or the withdrawal of a party may take place: ( a ) in conformity with the provisions of the treaty; or ( b ) at any time by consent of all the parties after consultation with the other contracting States.
Reduction of the parties to a multilateral treaty below the number necessary for its entry into force Unless the treaty otherwise provides, a multilateral treaty does not terminate by reason only of the fact that the number of the parties falls below the number necessary for its entry into force.
Denunciation of or withdrawal from a treaty containing no provision regarding termination, denunciation or withdrawal
1. A treaty which contains no provision regarding its termination and which does not provide for denunciation or withdrawal is not subject to denunciation or withdrawal unless: ( a ) it is established that the parties intended to admit the possibility of denunciation or withdrawal; or ( b ) a right of denunciation or withdrawal may be implied by the nature of the treaty.
2. A party shall give not less than twelve months’ notice of its intention to denounce or withdraw from a treaty under paragraph 1.
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969 ex WikiHistory
The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) is a treaty concerning the international law on treaties between states. It was adopted on 22 May 1969 and opened for signature on 23 May 1969. The Convention entered into force on 27 January 1980. The VCLT has been ratified by 114 states as of April 2014. Some countries that have not ratified the Convention, such as the United States, recognize parts of it as a restatement of customary law and binding upon them as such.
The VCLT was drafted by the International Law Commission (ILC) of the United Nations, which began work on the Convention in 1949. During the twenty years of preparation, several draft versions of the convention and commentaries were prepared by special rapporteurs of the ILC. James Brierly, Hersch Lauterpacht, Gerald Fitzmaurice and Humphrey Waldock were the four special rapporteurs. In 1966, the ILC adopted 75 draft articles which formed the basis for the final work. Over two sessions in 1968 and 1969, the Vienna Conference completed the Convention, which was adopted on 22 May 1969 and opened for signature the following day.
The Convention codifies several bedrocks of contemporary international law. It defines a treaty as "an international agreement concluded between states in written form and governed by international law," as well as affirming that "every state possesses the capacity to conclude treaties." The most important point in the Convention is that Article 1 restricts the application of the Convention to written treaties between States, excluding treaties concluded between the states and international organizations or international organizations themselves..
Most nations, whether they are party to it or not, recognize it as the preeminent "Treaty of Treaties"; it is widely recognized as the authoritative guide regarding the formation and effects of treaties. For example, the United States recognizes that parts of the Convention constitute customary law binding on all nations. In India, the Supreme court has also recognised the customary status of the convention.Scope
The scope of the Convention is limited. It applies only to treaties concluded between states, so it does not cover agreements between states and international organizations or between international organizations themselves, though if any of its rules are independently binding on such organizations, they remain so. It does apply, however, to treaties between states within an intergovernmental organization. However, agreements between states and international organizations, or between international organizations themselves, will be governed by the 1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or Between International Organizations if it ever enters into force. Also, in treaties between states and international organizations, the terms of the Convention still apply between the state members. The Convention does not apply to agreements not in written form. Parties to the convention
As of April 2014, there are 114 state parties that have ratified the convention, and a further 15 states have signed but have not ratified the convention. In addition, the Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 21 UN member states, signed the Convention in 1970 prior to the United Nations General Assembly's vote to transfer China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971. The PRC subsequently acceded to the Convention. 66 UN member states have neither signed nor ratified the Convention.Vienna formula
International treaties and conventions contain rules about what entities could sign, ratify or accede to them. Some treaties are restricted to states that are members of the UN or parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice. In rare cases there is an explicit list of the entities that the treaty is restricted to. More commonly the aim of the founding signatories is that the treaty is not restricted to particular states only and so a wording like "this treaty is open for signature to States willing to accept its provisions" is used (the so-called "All States formula").
When a treaty is open to "States", for the depositary authority it is difficult or impossible to determine which entities are States. If the treaty is restricted to Members of the United Nations or Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, there is no ambiguity. However, a difficulty has occurred as to possible participation in treaties when entities which appeared otherwise to be States could not be admitted to the United Nations, nor become Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice owing to the opposition, for political reasons, of a permanent member of the Security Council or haven't applied for ICJ or UN membership. Since that difficulty did not arise as concerns membership in the specialized agencies, where there is no "veto" procedure, a number of those States became members of specialized agencies, and as such were in essence recognized as States by the international community. Accordingly, and in order to allow for as wide a participation as possible, a number of conventions then provided that they were also open for participation to States members of specialized agencies. The type of entry-into-force clause utilized in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties was later called the "Vienna formula" and its wording was utilized by various treaties, conventions and organizations.
Some treaties that utilize it include provisions that in addition to these States any other State invited by a specified authority or organization (commonly the United Nations General Assembly or an institution created by the treaty in question) can also participate, thus making the scope of potential signatories even broader.
The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States Members of the United Nations or of any of the specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency or parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a party to the Convention, as follows: until 30 November 1969, at the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, and subsequently, until 30 April 1970, at United Nations Headquarters, New York.— Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Article 81, Signature