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Supplementary Means Of Interpretation

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Chapter Summary

Article 32 refers to supplementary means of interpretation, including the preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its conclusion. The preparatory work of the treaty is the most important supplementary means. It includes all documents relevant to a forthcoming treaty and generated by the parties during the treaty's preparation up to its conclusion. The supplementary means of interpretation are by very nature notoriously heterogeneous, different documents at times even contradicting each other. Recourse may be had to the supplementary means of interpretation after employing the means of the General Rule of Interpretation in Article 31. Throughout, recourse to the supplementary means in Article 32 is governed by good faith. The circumstances of its conclusion include the political, social and cultural factors. Article 32 further offers welcome clarification as to the conditions and circumstances of resorting to the travaux préparatoires and other supplementary means of interpretation.

Keywords: Article 32; interpretation; travaux préparatoires; treaty



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