Termination of Treaties


• Termination of treaties by operation of Law

• Termination by act(s) of state parties

By operation of law
• Extinction of either party to bilateral treaty

– May be in issue of state succession

• Extinction of entire subject matter of treaty



• Outbreak of war between parties

• In bilateral agreement, Material breach by one party entitle other to terminate or suspend

• Impossibility of performance (art. 61) – Due to permanent disappearance or destruction of object indispensable for the execution of the treaty

– Limitation :

• Such impossibility should not be due to breach of treaty itself

• Or of any other international obligation committed by the party which seeks to terminate the treaty upon ground of impossibility

• Fundamental Change in Circumstances (Art. 62) – Rebus sic stantibus

– To the effect that the treaty obligation subsist only so long as the essential circumstances remain unchanged

– Elements :

• Such change has occurred

• Which was not foreseen by parties

• Existence of such circumstances constituted an essential basis of content

• Effect of the change is radically to transform the extent of obligation still to be performed

– Limitation

• If treaty establishes a boundary

• If change is the result of a breach by the party invoking it either of an obligation under the treaty or of any international obligation

• Party may invoke a fundamental change of circumstance as ground for terminating or withdrawing from a treaty it may also invoke the change as ground for suspending the operation of treaty.
• Expiration of time (time bound treaty)

• Successive denunciation (if results into less than the parties required for force) • Violation of new peremptory norms

• Task bound treaty

= completion of task

Termination by act of parties

• Withdrawal in conformity with provision of treaty

• Consent and consultation

• All parties conclude a treaty to terminate

• Notice of termination

• Denunciation

– Notification by a state to other states parties that it intends to withdraw from the treaty

– Not always allowed

– need to see the specific treaty