International Treaties/Conventions

Sociology | Mercantile Law | International Law | International Relations

Article-2(1-A) of Vienna Convention of Law of Treaties defines treaty as; “Treaty means an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation.”

Manely O. Hudson said; “The term ‘convention’ is used in general and inclusive sense. It would seem to apply to any ‘treaty, convention protocol, and agreement regardless of its title or form. It may be general or particular varying with the number of parties and character of content.” It may be bilateral or multilateral. For instance, extradition treaties are always bilateral while Human Rights treaties are usually multilateral treaties.

The treaties which propose some law for a state or states is called a law making treaty. Such treaties may include UN Charter and would be called ‘Treaties Enunciating Rules of Universal International Law’.

‘International Treaties Laying down the General Principles’ which may include ICJ Statute, NPT, IAEA Statute etc. are also law treaties as a source of International law.

These treaties are of great importance in the existing world order as they provide basic framework for the international law for their provisions are direct source of it. They perform same function in international field as legislation does in the state field.

The treaties signed in the form of various contracts between the states, not the state entities in their private capacity, will be contract treaties bearing the International Laws for the states which signed such pacts. For instance, trade with India or contract of development projects with China are the contract treaties that will bound Pakistan pursue the legal conditions mentioned. Provisions of such treaties are binding only on the states.

Besides law treaties and contract pacts, any treaty can be a source of international law if any of its provisions carry a ‘norm-creating character’ in the words of the ICJ. For instance, first three articles of Geneva Convention are the provisions with norm-creating characters.