Research Handbook on the Law of Treaties
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Research Handbook on the Law of Treaties

Edited by Christian J. Tams, Antonios Tzanakopoulos and Andreas Zimmermann

Offering a unique conceptual approach to the Law of Treaties this insightful Research Handbook not only sets out the foundational issues, but identifies tensions within the field, including formalism vs flexibility, integrity vs flexibility, and uniformity vs specialisation, to name a few. It seeks to define and re-define the dimensions in which Treaty law operates, tracing its fault-lines and the challenges it faces, such as breaches, regime-collisions, state succession and armed conflict. Representing a broad range of jurisdictional and ideological perspectives, the Research Handbook provides a diverse and stimulating approach to international treaties.
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Chapter 2: The law of treaties through the interplay of its different sources

Enzo Cannizzaro


It is commonly accepted that the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties is one of the most ambitious, and perhaps also among the most successful, endeavours to codify international law ever attempted. It has conceptualized a system of the law of treaties that remains relevant to date. Many of its provisions are routinely mentioned in judicial and diplomatic practice as unequivocally corresponding to customary law. The Vienna Convention has also spread its influence over other branches of international law and has contributed to the general development of international law. Its blend of tradition and innovation now constitutes a model for codification. At closer look, however, the application of the Vienna Convention also reveals some problematic issues and lays bare the fragile paradigm of codification. Although frequently mentioned in judicial and diplomatic practice as the living codification of the law of treaties, the Vienna Convention has certainly not prevented the further development of this area of law. The interplay between the Vienna Convention and other sources of international law is rather bidirectional. The Convention has certainly exerted a robust influence on international practice. However, evolution in the law of treaties and other areas of international law has also had a major impact on the Vienna Convention and has led to the further development of some of its normative solutions.

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