Typologies and the ‘Essential Juridical Character’ of Treaties

Forthcoming in: M Bowman and D Kritsiotis (eds), Conceptual and Contextual Perspectives on the Modern Law of Treaties (Cambridge University Press 2017)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2015-18

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2015-09

26 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2015 Last revised: 27 Sep 2016

See all articles by Catherine M. Brölmann

Catherine M. Brölmann

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: May 29, 2015

Abstract

Legal scholarship, doctrine and practice differentiate between treaties. References to ‘peace treaties’, ‘lawmaking treaties’, ‘environmental treaties’, ‘fundamental treaties’, ‘contract treaties’, ‘constitutional treaties’, and ‘self-executing treaties’ are a received part of public international law discourse. Classifications of treaties are also not new. In his 1930 article, Lord Arnold McNair distinguished between ‘widely differing functions … of the instruments which it is customary to comprise under the term “treaty”’, and sought to link these to their ‘essential legal character’. This paper aims to trace classifications of treaties prevalent in international affairs today, and to look at their significance within and outside the law of treaties framework. Findings suggest that the various treaty typologies may be grouped into three main categories: form typologies, normative effect typologies and content typologies. While it turns out that the Vienna Convention regimes have little sensitivity to differentiation between treaty types, treaty typologies appear to play an important part in international law and policy more generally. This paper thus also goes to illustrate how the treaty has moved beyond its role of a content-neutral, formal instrument to gain relevance as a context-dependent body of normative authority.

Keywords: International law, law of treaties, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, lawmaking treaties, constitutive treaties, multilateral treaties, treaty types, normative scope, normative content, form of treaties

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Brolmann, C. M., Typologies and the ‘Essential Juridical Character’ of Treaties (May 29, 2015). Forthcoming in: M Bowman and D Kritsiotis (eds), Conceptual and Contextual Perspectives on the Modern Law of Treaties (Cambridge University Press 2017); Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2015-18; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2015-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2611985

C. M. Brolmann (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

PO Box 1000
Amsterdam, 1030 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://home.medewerker.uva.nl/c.m.brolmann/

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