Subject: Vienna Convention on the Law onTreaties 1969 & 1986
LEOLIN PRICE QC article in International Currency Review 2005 vol 30 no.4
THE VIENNA TREATY CONVENTION
Under the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties there are two key provisions which authorise a signatory power to abrogate a bilateral or multilateral treaty unilaterally, without giving the stipulated notice.
1. Where corruption has been demonstrated in respect of procuring the treaty in the first place, or in respect of any dimension of it’s implementation.
European Commission (EC) permits and is associated with corruption on a monumental scale, which the EU authorities have tried to cover up with declining success.
2. Where there has been material change of circumstances.
A material change of circumstances has surfaced into the daylight, to begin with, following the death of Sir Edward Heath. It has been revealed that he was an agent for a foreign power, accepted corrupt payments for his services, and lied to the British people concerning the nature of the geopolitical trap into which he had been instructed by his handlers to lead them – and that he did all this on behalf of a foreign power which has all along disguised its continuing Nazi orientation.
SECTION 2. INVALIDITY OF TREATIES
Provisions of internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties
1. A State may not invoke the fact that its consent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed in violation of a provision of its internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties as invalidating its consent unless that violation was manifest and concerned a rule of its internal law of fundamental importance.
2. A violation is manifest if it would be objectively evident to any State conducting itself in the matter in accordance with normal practice and in good faith.
Specific restrictions on authority to express the consent of a State
If the authority of a representative to express the consent of a State to be bound by a particular treaty has been made subject to a specific restriction, his omission to observe that restriction may not be invoked as invalidating the consent expressed by him unless the restriction was notified to the other negotiating States prior to his expressing such consent.
1. A State may invoke an error in a treaty as invalidating its consent to be bound by the treaty if the error relates to a fact or situation which was assumed by that State to exist at the time when the treaty was concluded and formed an essential basis of its consent to be bound by the treaty.
If a State has been induced to conclude a treaty by the fraudulent conduct of another negotiating State, the State may invoke the fraud as invalidating its consent to be bound by the treaty.
Corruption of a representative of a State
If the expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty has been procured through the corruption of its representative directly or indirectly by another negotiating State, the State may invoke such corruption as invalidating its consent to be bound by the treaty.
Coercion of a representative of a State
The expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty which has been procured by the coercion of its representative through acts or threats directed against him shall be without any legal effect.
Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force
A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.
Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”)
A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.
SECTION 3. TERMINATION AND SUSPENSION OF THE OPERATION OF TREATIES
Fundamental change of circumstances
1. A fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred with regard to those existing at the time of the conclusion of a treaty, and which was not foreseen by the parties, may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty unless:
(a) the existence of those circumstances constituted an essential basis of the consent of the parties to be bound by the treaty; and
(b) the effect of the change is radically to transform the extent of obligations still to be performed under the treaty.
2. A fundamental change of circumstances may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from a treaty:
(a) if the treaty establishes a boundary; or
(b) if the fundamental change is the result of a breach by the party invoking it either of an obligation under the treaty or of any other international obligation owed to any other party to the treaty.
3. If, under the foregoing paragraphs, a party may invoke a fundamental change of circumstances as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from a treaty it may also invoke the change as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty.
SECTION 5. CONSEQUENCES OF THE INVALIDITY, TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION OF THE OPERATION OF A TREATY
Consequences of the invalidity of a treaty
1. A treaty the invalidity of which is established under the present Convention is void. The provisions of a void treaty have no legal force.
2. If acts have nevertheless been performed in reliance on such a treaty:
(a) each party may require any other party to establish as far as possible in their mutual relations the position that would have existed if the acts had not been performed;
(b) acts performed in good faith before the invalidity was invoked are not rendered unlawful by reason only of the invalidity of the treaty.
3. In cases falling under article 49, 50, 51 or 52, paragraph 2 does not apply with respect to the party to which the fraud, the act of corruption or the coercion is imputable.
4. In the case of the invalidity of a particular State’s consent to be bound by a multilateral treaty, the foregoing rules apply in the relations between that State and the parties to the treaty.