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Accepting the Unacceptable? A New Nordic Approach to Reservations to Multilateral Treaties

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An unsatisfactory characteristic of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties regime relating to reservations is that objections to reservations do not normally prevent the reserving state from getting what it wants, no matter how outrageous the reservation may be. The Nordic states in particular, disgruntled with this state of affairs, have in recent years formulated objections to reservations in such as manner as to aim to prevent reserving states from benefitting from their reservations. The present paper records this Nordic practice, traces some antecedents, and analyzes its legal consequences, arguing that the Nordic practice may not prevent states from benefitting from their reservations but is best seen as an attempt to influence the work of the ILC's Special Rapporteur on reservations.


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