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Article 51: Coercion Of A Representative Of A State

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Chapter Summary

Coercion occurs through acts or threats, which may include physical force or moral pressure of different kinds including blackmail directed against a State representative or close person. The coercive acts induce fear, which becomes the motivating factor behind the conclusion of the treaty. Persuasion, influence, argument or advice do not constitute coercion unless carried out to such an extreme as to amount to undue pressure. Coercion relates to the expression of a State's consent to be bound by a treaty. A State's consent, which was procured by the coercion of its representative, shall be without any legal effect: It is void. Article 51 specifies neither who must have exercised the coercion nor which State may invoke the treaty's nullity. Article 51 is difficult to grasp as it deals with the State representative in a dual capacity: (i) as an individual; and (ii) as an organ of State.

Keywords: Article 51; coercion; State



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