The Concept of Treaty in International Law


Whether or not a certain norm is legally binding upon international actors may often depend on whether or not the instrument which contains the norm is to be regarded as a treaty. In this study, the author argues that instruments which contain commitments are, ex hypothesi, treaties. In doing so, he challenges popular notions proclaiming the existence of morally and politically binding agreements and so-called `soft law'. Such notions, Klabbers argues, are internally inconsistent and founded upon untenable presumptions. Moreover, they find little support in the pertinent decisions of municipal and international courts and tribunals. The book addresses issues of importance not only for academics working in international law, constitutional law and political science, but also for practitioners involved in the making, implementation and enforcement of international agreements.


EUR €207.00USD $250.00

Review Quote

' It is highly recommended to both academics and practitioners involved in global politics!' Law Books in Review, XXII:3 (1996).

Table of contents

Introduction. I. Treaty-like Instruments; An Overview. II. The 1969 Vienna Convention's Definition. III. On Intent. IV. Several Varying Theses. V. On the Co-existence of Normative Orders. Excursion to Chapter V: The Soft Law Thesis. VI. The World Court. VII. Other Courts and Tribunals. Concluding Remarks. Epilogue: Some Remaining Questions. Appendix. Table of Cases. Bibliographical References. Index.