Effective Application of the Rule on Fundamental Change of Circumstances to Treaties Contravening the 1997 Polish Constitution

in International Community Law Review
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A fundamental change of circumstances is one of the more controversial reasons for the termination of a treaty. The fact that it was included in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties gave rise to many disputes among legal scholars, including whether the solutions adopted then embodied customary law. In this context, an interesting case is offered by Poland which in 1999 invoked specific provisions of the Convention, both substantive and procedural, including a fundamental change of circumstances, and considered several treaties from the period of Soviet domination terminated with retroactive effect from 1997. The article discusses actions by the states involved and their legal effects. Interestingly, this is one of very few examples where a fundamental change of circumstances was an effective reason for bringing about the termination of treaties in a manner that has not drawn any objections nor has brought about any international accountability.

Effective Application of the Rule on Fundamental Change of Circumstances to Treaties Contravening the 1997 Polish Constitution

in International Community Law Review

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References

6

Wattssupra note 2 p. 772.

12

Oppenheimsupra note 8 pp. 939–942.

14

Wattssupra note 2 p. 763.

21

J. of Laws of 1971No. 22 items 203 and 204.

22

J. of Laws of 1974No. 34 items 197 and 198.

23

J. of Laws of 1985No. 34 items 154 and 155.

24

J. of Laws of 1985No. 34 items 156 and 157.

25

J. of Laws of 1988No. 31 items 220 and 221.

31

Szafarzsupra note 27 p. 54.

36

Szafarzsupra note 27 p. 56.

46

As on 19 October 2013.

47

See Kamińskisupra note 7 p. 190.

49

Wattssupra note 2 p. 763.

51

Wattssupra note 2 p. 385. A similar comment on this question is offered by Anthony Aust who says that the Commission did not restrict despite suggestions from the legal community the application of the principle to treaties concluded for an indefinite period of time but it did note a narrow possibility of invoking the said article in the case of treaties concluded for a definite period of time or containing termination clauses. Aust supra note 44 p. 240.

54

Frankowskasupra note 4 p. 159.

56

Austsupra note 44 p. 298.

59

Protocol executed at Prague on 1 July 1991terminating the Pact of Friendship Co-operation and Mutual Assistance signed at Warsaw on 14 May 1995 and a Protocol for its Prolongation signed at Warsaw on 26 April 1985 (J. of Laws of 1993 No. 61 items 289 and 290).

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