Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations 6

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations

 

SECTION 3.

INTERPRETATION OF TREATIES

Article 31

General rule of interpretation

1. A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the
ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context
and in the light of its object and purpose.

2. The context for the purpose of the interpretation of a treaty shall
comprise, in addition to the text, including its preamble and annexes:

(a) any agreement relating to the treaty which was made between all
the parties in connection with the conclusion of the treaty;

(b) any instrument which was made by one or more parties in connection
with the conclusion of the treaty and accepted by the other parties as an
instrument related to the treaty.

3. There shall be taken into account, together with the context:

(a) any subsequent agreement between the parties regarding the
interpretation of the treaty or the application of its provisions;

(b) any subsequent practice in the application of the treaty which
establishes the agreement of the parties regarding its interpretation;

(c) any relevant rules of international law applicable in the
relations between the parties.

4. A special meaning shall be given to a term if it is established that
the parties so intended.

Article 32

Supplementary means of interpretation

Recourse may be had to supplementary means of interpretation, including
the preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its
conclusion, in order to confirm the meaning resulting from the
application of article 31, or to determine the meaning when the
interpretation according to article 31:

(a) leaves the meaning ambiguous or obscure; or

(b) leads to a result which is manifestly absurd or unreasonable.

Article 33

Interpretation of treaties authenticated in two or more languages

1. When a treaty has been authenticated in two or more languages, the
text is equally authoritative in each language, unless the treaty
provides or the parties agree that, in case of divergence, a particular
text shall prevail.

2. A version of the treaty in a language other than one of those in
which the text was authenticated shall be considered an authentic text
only if the treaty so provides or the parties so agree.

3. The terms of a treaty are presumed to have the same meaning in each
authentic text.

4. Except where a particular text prevails in accordance with paragraph
1, when a comparison of the authentic texts discloses a difference of
meaning which the application of articles 31 and 32 does not remove, the
meaning which best reconciles the texts, having regard to the object and
purpose of the treaty, shall be adopted.

SECTION 4.

TREATIES AND THIRD STATES OR THIRD ORGANIZATIONS

Article 34

General rule regarding third States and third organizations

A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third
State or a third organization without the consent of that State or that
organization.

Article 35

Treaties providing for obligations
for third States or third organizations

An obligation arises for a third State or a third organization from a
provision of a treaty if the parties to the treaty intend the provision
to be the means of establishing the obligation and the third State or the
third organization expressly accepts that obligation in writing.
Acceptance by the third organization of such an obligation shall be
governed by the rules of that organization.

Article 36

Treaties providing for rights for third States or third organizations

1. A right arises for a third State from a provision of a treaty if the
parties to the treaty intend the provision to accord that right either to
the third State, or to a group of States to which it belongs, or to all
States, and the third State assents thereto. Its assent shall be presumed
so long as the contrary is not indicated, unless the treaty otherwise
provides.

2. A right arises for a third organization from a provision of a teaty
if the parties to the treaty intend the provision to accord that right
either to the third organization, or to a group of international
organizations to which it belongs, or to all organizations, and the third
organization assents thereto. Its assent shall be governed by the rules
of the organization.

3. A State or an international organization exercising a right in
accordance with paragraph 1 or 2 shall comply with the conditions for its
exercise provided for in the treaty or established in conformity with the
treaty.

Article 37

Revocation or modification of obligations or rights
of third States or third organizations

1. When an obligation has arisen for a third State or a third
organization in conformity with article 35, the obligation may be revoked
or modified only with the consent of the parties to the treaty and of the
third State or the third organization, unless it is established that they
had otherwise agreed.

2. When a right has arisen for a third State or a third organization in
conformity with article 36, the right may not be revoked or modified by
the parties if it is established that the right was intended not to be
revocable or subject to modification without the consent of the third
State or the third organization.

3. The consent of an international organization party to the treaty or
of a third organization, as provided for in the foregoing paragraphs,
shall be governed by the rules of that organization.

Article 38

Rules in a treaty becoming binding on third States
or third organizations through international custom

Nothing in articles 34 to 37 precludes a rule set forth in a treaty
from becoming binding upon a third State or a third organization as a
customary rule of international law, recognized as such.

PART IV
AMENDMENT AND MODIFICATION OF TREATIES

Article 39

General rule regarding the amendment of treaties

1. A treaty may be amended by agreement between the parties. The rules
laid down in Part II apply to such an agreement except in so far as the
treaty may otherwise provide.

2. The consent of an international organization to an agreement provided
for in paragraph 1 shall be governed by the rules of that organization.

Article 40

Amendment of multilateral treaties

1. Unless the treaty otherwise provides, the amendment of multilateral
treaties shall be governed by the following paragraphs.

2. Any proposal to amend a multilateral treaty as between all the
parties must be notified to all the contracting States and all the
contracting organizations, each one of which shall have the right to take
part in:

(a) the decision as to the action to be taken in regard to such
proposal;

(b) the negotiation and conclusion of any agreement for the amendment
of the treaty.

3. Every State or international organization entitled to become a party
to the treaty shall also be entitled to become a party to the treaty as
amended.

4. The amending agreement does not bind any State or international
organization already a party to the treaty which does not become a party
to the amending agreement; article 30, paragraph 4(b), applies in
relation to such State or organization.

5. Any State or international organization which becomes a party to the
treaty after the entry into force of the amending agreement shall,
failing an expression of a different intention by that State or that
organization:

(a) be considered as a party to the treaty as amended; and

(b) be considered as a party to the unamended treaty in relation to
any party to the treaty not bound by the amending agreement.

Article 41

Agreements to modify multilateral treaties
between certain of the parties only

1. Two or more of the parties to a multilateral treaty may conclude an
agreement to modify the treaty as between themselves alone if:

(a) the possibility of such a modification is provided for by the
treaty; or
(b) the modification in question is not prohibited by the treaty and:

(i) does not affect the enjoyment by the other parties of their
rights under the treaty or the performance of their
obligations;

(ii) does not relate to a provision, derogation from which is
incompatible with the effective execution of the object and
purpose of the treaty as a whole.

2. Unless in a case falling under paragraph 1 (a) the treaty otherwise
provides, the parties in question shall notify the other parties of their
intention to conclude the agreement and of the modification to the treaty
for which it provides.

 

Conclusion

Notes

See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

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