Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark and Olle Mårsäter, Treaties and the Limits of Flexibility

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark and Olle Mårsäter, Treaties and the Limits of Flexibility Treaties and the Limits of Flexibility SIA SPILIOPOULOU ÅKERMARK AND OLLE MÅRSÄTER* 1. Why Discuss Flexibility? The main purpose of the present article is to challenge the perception of treaties as rigid and inflexible documents or simply as set collections of rules. Is the critique of international law as an inflexible device justified? We will try to show that treaties can ensure a balance between formalism (procedural guarantees) and flexibility. The question has also been raised with regard to reservations: how far can reservations go without harming the ‘integrity’ of a treaty? We will, finally, discuss the link between treaty flexibility and the insti- tutional setting or regime in which the treaty concerned exists. The argument is that the more treaty flexibility is available, the more important it is to have institutionalised mechanisms, bilateral or multilateral, for a continuous re- evaluation of the flexibility devices. We do not make the argument that inter- national organisations and treaty regimes do not need to be improved and new models developed, especially so with reference to the on-going debate on the legitimacy of international organisations. We are saying however that treaties as a tool of international co-ordination and co-operation offer us http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nordic Journal of International Law Brill

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark and Olle Mårsäter, Treaties and the Limits of Flexibility

Nordic Journal of International Law, Volume 74 (3-4): 509 – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0902-7351
eISSN
1571-8107
D.O.I.
10.1163/157181005774939931
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Treaties and the Limits of Flexibility SIA SPILIOPOULOU ÅKERMARK AND OLLE MÅRSÄTER* 1. Why Discuss Flexibility? The main purpose of the present article is to challenge the perception of treaties as rigid and inflexible documents or simply as set collections of rules. Is the critique of international law as an inflexible device justified? We will try to show that treaties can ensure a balance between formalism (procedural guarantees) and flexibility. The question has also been raised with regard to reservations: how far can reservations go without harming the ‘integrity’ of a treaty? We will, finally, discuss the link between treaty flexibility and the insti- tutional setting or regime in which the treaty concerned exists. The argument is that the more treaty flexibility is available, the more important it is to have institutionalised mechanisms, bilateral or multilateral, for a continuous re- evaluation of the flexibility devices. We do not make the argument that inter- national organisations and treaty regimes do not need to be improved and new models developed, especially so with reference to the on-going debate on the legitimacy of international organisations. We are saying however that treaties as a tool of international co-ordination and co-operation offer us

Journal

Nordic Journal of International LawBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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