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Reservations to Multilateral Treaties: A Macroscopic View of State Practice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2017

John King Gamble Jr.*
Affiliation:
The Behrend College, the Pennsylvania State University

Extract

Many vexing, complicated, and important problems of international law relate in some way to reservations to multilateral treaties. No doubt, the right of states to make reservations to multilateral treaties is important to the functioning of an international legal system, a major component of which is multilateral treaties. As Edwin Hoyt pointed out two decades ago, the unanimity rule has given way to a much more flexible standard which permits reservations under many circumstances. Thus, the position adopted here is that many important questions should be asked about when and how reservations are used and what their aggregate impact has been. This approach contrasts with most others which concentrate on the legality of reservations. Reservations to multilateral treaties are a fact of life that can be evaluated and analyzed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 1980

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References

1 E. Hoyt, the Unanimity Rule in the Revision of Treaties 12 (1959).

2 H. G Knight, The Potential Use of Reservations to international agreements produced by the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, in Policy Issues in Ocean Law 1, 5 (Studies in Transnational Legal Policy No. 8, 1975).

3 Reports of the International Law Commission on the second part of its 17th session and on its 18th session, [1966] 2 Y.B. Int'l L. Comm'n 169, 205-06, UN Doc. A/ 6309/Rev.l (1966).

4 Report of the International Law Commission covering the work of its 3d session, [1951] 2 Y.B. Int'l L. Comm'n 123, 129, UN Doc. A/1858 (1951).

5 UN Doc. A/CONF.39/27, Art. 2 ( 1 ) ( d ) (1969), reprinted in 63 AJIL 875 (1969), 8 ILM 679 (1969).

6 Harvard Research in International Law, Draft Convention on the Law of Treaties, with Comment, 29 AJIL Supp. 653, 843 (1935).

7 The Vienna Convention entered into force on Jan. 27, 1980.

8 K. Holloway, Modern Trends in Treaty Law 486 (1967).

9 A. D. Mcnair, The Law of Treaties 158 (1961).

10 Multilateral Treaties in Respect of Which the Secretary-General Performs Depositary Functions 583, UN Doc. ST/LEG/SER.D/12 (1979) [hereinafter cited as Multilateral Treaties.

11 450 UNTS 82, 13 UST 2312, TIAS No. 5200.

12 Multilateral Treaties, supra note 10, at 560.

13 499 UNTS 311, 15 UST 471, TIAS No. 5578.

14 Multilateral Treaties, supra note 10, at 567.

15 Multilateral Treaties, supra note 10, at 55.

16 A. D. Mcnair, supra note 9, at 159.

17 T. O. Elias, the Modern Law of Treaties 27 (1974).

18 D. P. O'connell, International Law 231 (1970) D. P. O'connell, International Law 231 (1970).

19 A multilateral treaty is defined as having more than two states as party. Indications are that the LNTS and UNTS contain about 90% of the world's multilateral treaties for the period studied. Technical assistance agreements and treaties concluded under the auspices of the International Labor Organization have been omitted.

20 For a discussion of plurilateral treaties, see J. Triska K. Slusser, The Theory, Law and Policy of Soviet Treaties 415 (1962).

21 Similar behavior has been noted in the bilateral sphere. See P. Rohn, Institutions in Treaties: a Global Survey of Magnitudes and Trends from 1945 to 1965, at 30-31 (1970).

22 For a good example of this approach, see J. Ruda, Reservations to Treaties, 146 RECUEIL DES COURS 95, 111-78 (1975 III).

23 O. Schachter, M. Nawaz, J. Fried, Toward Wider Acceptance of Un Treaties 154-56 (1971).

24 Szafarz, , Reservations and Objections in the Treaty Practice of Poland, 6 Polish Y.B. Int'L L. 245, 249 (1974)Google Scholar.

25 Id. at 249-50.

26 Id. at 24.

27 520 UNTS 151, 18 UST 1407, TIAS No. 6298.

28 649 UNTS 362.

29 Technical assistance treaties and treaties negotiated under the auspices of the International Labor Organization have been excluded. While the tabulations are based on only 709 treaties that entered into force from 1946 to 1971, inclusive, reservations, ratifications, etc., to these treaties are current through UNTS volume 835.

30 193 UNTS 135, 27 UST 1909, TIAS No. 8289.

31 See, e.g., the reservation of the Netherlands, 790 UNTS 130.

32 658 UNTS 163, 20 UST 361, TIAS No. 6638.

33 700 UNTS 374.

34 621 UNTS 361.

35 694 UNTS 391.

36 See text at note 5 supra.

37 289 UNTS 48, 9 UST 621, TIAS No. 4044.

38 320 UNTS 350.

39 751 UNTS 398.

40 767 UNTS 337.

41 Sohn, , Settlement of Disputes Arising Out of the Law of the Sea Convention, 12 San Diego L. Rev. 516 (1975)Google Scholar.

42 Gamble, , The Law of the Sea Conference: Dispute Settlement in Perspective, 9 Vand. J. Transnat'L L. 323, 340-41 (1976)Google Scholar.

43 606 UNTS 267, 19 UST 6223, TIAS No. 6577.

44 649 UNTS 372.

45 660 UNTS 195.

46 774 UNTS 374.

47 495 UNTS 3.

48 636 UNTS 370.

49 695 UNTS 364-65

50 131 UNTS 25, 17 UST 1835, TIAS No. 6129.

51 797 UNTS 392.

52 499 UNTS 311, supra note 13.

53 Id., Art. 8.

54 Multilateral Treaties, supra note 10, at 568.

55 754 UNTS 73.

56 778 UNTS 384-85.

57 727 UNTS 309.

58 727 UNTS 338.

59 824 UNTS 229.

60 524 UNTS 457.

61 193 UNTS 135, supra note 30.

62 Id., Art. III.

63 790 UNTS 130.

64 Multilateral Treaties, supra note 10, at 470.

65 516 UNTS 205, 15 UST 1606, Tias No. 5639.

66 Multilateral Treaties, supra note 10, at 551.

67 516 UNTS 205, Art. 20(2).

68 O. Schachter, supra note 23, at 154.

69 Reports of the International Law Commission, supra note 3, at 206.

70 O. Schachter, supra note 23, at 147.

71 K. Hollow Ay, supra note 8, at 473-85.

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