Political life of treaties: indeterminacy, interpretation and political consequences

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Abstract

The argument that the operation of the international legal system depends on political factors is to many a truism requiring little clarification or verification. But what does the operation of the system of positive international law do to international political processes? Even if it is politics and not law which primarily guides activities and decisions of States, how far could sheer politics get States in achieving their political goals? This paper focuses on three episodes—two historical and one current—about the political life of treaties involving high political stakes, and shows that the viability of foreign policies of States may be more dependent on the ways in which the system of positive international law works than is that system dependent on political agenda pursued by any State or group of States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-560
Number of pages16
JournalChinese Journal of International Law
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021

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