Treaties:Types and characteristics.


Date Posted: 11/21/2011 7:59:51 AM

Posted By: Raychelle  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 184

A treaty is an agreement between sovereign states that has been signed and ratified.Treaties are a source of international law as identified under Article 38 of the statute of the international court of justice alongside international custom,general principles of law,judicial decisions and writings of publicists.

The effect of a treaty on the formation of rules of international law depends on the nature of the treaty concerned.There are therefore two types of treaties:
a)Law making treaties.
b)Treaty contracts.

Law making treaties are those that lay down the rules of general or universal application.These types of treaties have been on an increase due to failure of custom to meet the emerging loopholes caused by economic and industrial changes that have occurred.Law making treaties deal with a wide range of activities.Examples include The Red Cross Convention and suppression of slave trade.Such areas needed immediate international law and could not wait for the eventual emergence of customary rules.

Treaty contracts on the other hand are entered between two or among a few states to address an exclusive matter concerning these states.They may in the long run lead to formation of general international law through operation of the principle governing international customary rules.

For an agreement to be considered a treaty it should possess the following essential characteristics:
*It becomes binding on the parties to it by virtue of their consent.Only limited circumstances have a treaty creating rights for third parties.
*Most treaties are made from written instruments concluded between states.Sometimes however,unwritten agreements between states and international organizations or between international organizations are also treaties.
*Many treaties are designed to establish general rules of common application and exhibit a mixture of legislative characteristics.
*Treaties may generate rules of law independently of the previous practice of states e.g Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter which prohibits threat of or use of force in international relations.

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