Meaning of TREATY in English

a contract or other written instrument binding two or more states under international law. According to modern diplomatic usage the term treaty is confined to the more important international agreements, whereas those agreements of lesser or subordinate importance have been called conventions, agreements, arrangements, protocols, and acts. A treaty is normally negotiated between plenipotentiaries provided by their respective governments with full power to conclude the treaty within the scope of their instructions. Signature, however, is today presumed to be subject to ratification by the government unless explicitly waived. Apart from such express provision, the instrument does not become formally binding until ratifications have been exchanged. A multilateral treatysuch as the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 or the Charter of the United Nations of 1945is usually negotiated at a diplomatic conference ending with signature of the treaty. In making a treaty, the authors need not employ any special form. A treaty often takes the form of a contract, but it may take the form of a joint declaration or of an exchange of notes (as in the case of the RushBagot Agreement between the United States and Great Britain in 1817 for mutual disarmament on the Great Lakes). It is, however, customary to draw up all important treaties on a fixed plan. First comes the preamble, giving the names and styles of the high contracting parties, a statement of the general objectives which they have in view, the names and official designations of the plenipotentiaries charged with the negotiation, and a statement that their full powers have been verified. Then follow the articles containing the stipulations agreed upon. If the treaty is concluded for a definite period, this is next stated; or, if it be in form perpetual, there may be a provision inserted that either party may denounce (i.e., give notice to terminate) the treaty. Next follows an article providing for ratification and for the time and place for the exchange of ratifications. At the end is a clause stating that in witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have affixed their names and seals. The signatures follow, with the place and date. Additional articles are often appended and signed by the plenipotentiaries, with the declaration that they have the same force and value as if they had been included in the body of the treaty or convention. International jurists have classified treaties on a variety of principles. Aside from the distinction between general (multilateral) and bilateral treaties, the distinction has been drawn between those that represent a definite transaction, such as a cession of territory (Rechtsgeschft), and those which seek to establish a general rule of conduct, such as the renunciation of war (Rechtssatz). They may be classified in a more practical way according to their object, as follows: (1) political treaties, such as treaties of peace, of alliance, of cession of territory, of pacific settlement, and of disarmament; (2) commercial treaties, including tariff, consular, fishery, and navigation agreements; (3) constitutional and administrative treaties, such as the conventions establishing and regulating international unions, organizations, and specialized agencies; (4) treaties relating to criminal justice, such as treaties defining international crimes and providing for extradition; (5) treaties relating to civil justice, such as conventions for the protection of human rights, trademarks and copyright, and the execution of the judgments of foreign courts; (6) treaties codifying international law, such as procedures for the peaceful settlement of international disputes, rules for the conduct of war, and definitions of the rights and duties of states. In practice it is often difficult to assign a particular treaty to any one of these classes. A treaty may lapse naturally by the destruction of one of the states party to it, by the object of the agreement ceasing to exist, by the conclusion of a new agreement among the parties abrogating or superseding it, or by denunciation by one of the parties under powers reserved in the treaty itself. Treaties are also in most cases suspended if not terminated by war between the contracting parties and are therefore usually revived in express terms of the treaty of peace.

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