What is a Treaty?
- An agreement between states (inter-state) or between states and international organizations, intended to be governed by international law.
- May also be known as an agreement, covenant, protocol, convention, pact, statute, or convention.
- Can address a wide range of topics.
- Treaties involving varying numbers of parties are referred to in varying ways:
- Bilateral: negotiated between two states;
- Plurilateral: negotiated between a limited number of states, but more than two; and
- Multilateral: negotiated by several states.
- According to Article 2(1)(a) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969, " 'treaty' means an international agreement concluded between two or more States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation".
Note: Increasingly in Canada, treaties are referred to as international treaties to distinguish them from treaties with Indigenous peoples.
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