Exiting Treaties

71 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2005

See all articles by Laurence R. Helfer

Laurence R. Helfer

Duke University School of Law; University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts


This article analyzes the under-explored phenomenon of unilateral exit from international agreements and intergovernmental organizations. Although clauses authorizing denunciation and withdrawal from treaties are pervasive, international legal scholars and international relations theorists have largely ignored them. This article draws upon new empirical evidence to provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary framework for understanding treaty exit. It examines when and why states abandon their treaty commitments and explains how exit helps to resolve certain theoretical and doctrinal puzzles that have long troubled scholars of international affairs.

Keywords: International Law and Trade, Law Institutions and Development, Law and Economics

JEL Classification: K33, K00, F02, O19

Suggested Citation

Helfer, Laurence R., Exiting Treaties. Virginia Law Review, Vol. 91, p. 1579, 2005, Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 05-05, Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 05-09, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=683481

Laurence R. Helfer (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Dr.
Box 90360
Durham, NC 27708
United States
+1-919-613-8573 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.duke.edu/fac/helfer/

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts ( email )

University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law
Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen S, DK-2300

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/icourts/

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