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Article 39: General Rule Regarding The Amendment Of Treaties

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Chapter Summary

Article 39 contains the general rule regarding the amendment of treaties. A treaty may be amended by agreement between the parties. Traditionally, the amendment required the agreement of all parties. Eventually, more flexibility was achieved when practices developed enabling some parties to a treaty to modify multilateral treaties, the original treaty remaining in force for the other parties, which did not accept the amendment. The term agreement serves as a common denominator of all forms of amending a treaty. The provision, reflecting a customary rule, focuses on the contractual practice of States parties among which the treaty may eventually be modified. Its flexibility and residual nature duly consider the notorious difficulties of amending multilateral treaties and gave the treaty parties full liberty to agree on their own procedures for amendment. The amendment procedures correspond with the dynamic nature of international law, while striking a balance between stability and change.

Keywords: amendment; Article 39; international law; treaties



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