Treaty Interpretation in Indian Courts: Adherence, Coherence, and Convergence
Helmut Philipp Aust and Georg Nolte (eds.), Domestic Courts and the Interpretation of International Law: Converging Approaches? (Oxford University Press, 2015)
34 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2015
This book chapter surveys whether and how courts in India apply VCLT rules, particularly Articles 31-33, when they interpret treaties. It looks at both adherence to Vienna rules (either through nominal adherence or through the adoption of corresponding methods), as well as coherence of interpretive principles across different kinds of cases and tribunals. Insofar as India is not a signatory to the VCLT, the use of similar rules can be viewed as either application of customary international law, or the adoption of convenient guidelines. Within India, the VCLT is referred to most frequently in cases involving the interpretation of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs), and it is asked whether this constitutes a specialized regime or whether these cases should be taken as an indication of a more general approach.
Keywords: India, International Law, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, treaty interpretation, tax law, Indian Courts and International Law
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