The Law of Treaties
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The Law of Treaties

An Introduction

Robert Kolb

Permeating all facets of public international law, the modern law of treaties is a fundamental aspect of governance in the ‘democratized’ world. In this contemporary introduction, Robert Kolb provides a refreshing study that is both legally analytical and practical. Written in a highly readable style, the book explores the key topics through concise chapters, which are organized into two parts. The first of these gives a structured overview of the law of treaties along with practical examples. The second provides a critical engagement with the underlying issues and discusses the multi-dimensional problems raised by legal regulations, explored through specific case studies.
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Chapter III: Conclusion

Robert Kolb


The conclusion of treaties differs according to the number of States participating. There are few rules as to the adoption of bilateral treaties. States may conduct their negotiations through all the channels they see fit. It can even happen that an agreement is concluded by a simple phone call between foreign ministers, as apparently occurred on the question of the bridge over the Great Belt between Finland and Denmark. In other words, the two States concerned may negotiate in whatever setting they prefer and then adopt, sign and sometimes ratify the treaty in one single act. The position is different in the case of adoption of treaties under the auspices of international organizations (for example, the International Labour Organization) or in conferences convened by international organizations (for example, the Kyoto Conference of 1997). The sheer number of States participating in such events requires a specific procedure to be followed. We will now go through the main stages of the conclusion of a multilateral treaty making, where appropriate, references to what usually happens in the case of bilateral commitments. The first stage is that of the negotiation. The conference or the meeting will be called by a secretariat set up by the States concerned (for example, the Rome Conference on the International Criminal Court (ICC)) or by the organization concerned (for example the UN). The rules of procedure for that conference will have to be agreed.

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