The Survival of the Secret Treaty: Publicity, Secrecy and Legality in the International Order

71 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2017 Last revised: 28 Nov 2017

See all articles by Megan Donaldson

Megan Donaldson

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law / King's College

Date Written: January 1, 2017

Abstract

This article offers the first detailed history of the norm of treaty publication as it has evolved over the last century. Drawing on both public debates and archives of foreign ministries, it traces how, and why, secret treaties have persisted, even in liberal democracies. It challenges assumptions of ever-greater transparency over time, and complicates the associations made — by interwar reformers and international lawyers today — between the norm of treaty publication and ideals of legality in the international order.

Keywords: Treaties, secrecy, publicity, registration

Suggested Citation

Donaldson, Megan, The Survival of the Secret Treaty: Publicity, Secrecy and Legality in the International Order (January 1, 2017). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 56/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3076515 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3076515

Megan Donaldson (Contact Author)

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law / King's College ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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