Fragmentation of International Law or 'Systemic Integration' of Treaty Regimes: EC - Biotech Products and the Proper Interpretation of Article 31(3)(C) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Journal of World Trade, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 589-618, 2008

Posted: 25 Aug 2009

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Article 31(3)(c) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties obliges a treaty interpreter to take into account 'any relevant rules of international law applicable in the relations between the parties.' The WTO Panel Report in EC - Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products held that all parties to a treaty under interpretation must also be parties to an extraneous treaty in order for that extraneous treaty to trigger Article 31(3)(c). However, contrary to this overly restrictive approach, Article 31(3)(c) should be viewed a basic procedural obligation to consider relevant rules of international law where the issues in dispute fall within the scope of those extraneous rules.

Suggested Citation

McGrady, Benn, Fragmentation of International Law or 'Systemic Integration' of Treaty Regimes: EC - Biotech Products and the Proper Interpretation of Article 31(3)(C) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (2008). Journal of World Trade, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 589-618, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1461481

Benn McGrady (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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