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General Rule Regarding Third States

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Chapter Summary

According to the definition in Article 2, a third State is "a State not a party to the treaty". Article 34 contains the general rule regarding third States. According to Article 34, a treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent. Even if a third State consents to certain rights or obligations arising out of the treaty, it does not become a party to the treaty. The assumption of rights and obligations by third States by means of a "collateral" agreement has to be distinguished from a State's accession to the treaty. While Article 34 applies in principle also to the Convention, particularly as regards its position towards non-parties, the matter may now be considered moot in view of the customary character of most Convention provisions. It is a model of brevity and clarity.

Keywords: Article 34; third States; treaty; Vienna Convention



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