the United Nations Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
In layman's terms: If a convention says something, we don't give a rat's ass about national laws, jurisprudence, praxis, etc. It is the convention dictating. What does it mean in practise?
I came across the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in my search for protection from persecution by Switzerland. I find it most interesting on all accords.
The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) is a most interesting convention. Countries unambiguously accept conventions to be legally binding, above and beyond their local legislation. Countries need to execute any convention after 1980 regardless of what their national law says. Countries national law is subordinate to all conventions. This includes naturally UN conventions, but also conventions of the COE, the OECD, or bilateral agreements. Many conventions which govern subjects I talk about on this blog: child kidnapping, child psychological and sexual violence, rights violations, whistleblowing, ...
So which countries does it apply to? The convention became legally binding as follows (I list the countries part of what I blow the whistle on):
- 1980 UK
- 1980 Spain
- 06 June 1990 Switzerland (they have their shit catching up with them)
- 1992 Belgium
From the bold you know Mother Helvetia has their shit catching up with them in this post.
The USA has signed in 1970, but never ratified. It means the USA wants to, but does not have to, and so if the USA does not respect conventions they can.
France is not part of the convention.
Let's discuss some interesting tidbits from the convention:
Recalling the determination of the peoples of the United Nations to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties can be maintained Having in mind the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, such as the principles of the equal rights and self determination of peoples, of the sovereign equality and independence of all States, of non interference in the domestic affairs of States, of the prohibition of the threat or use of force and of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Article 1. SCOPE OF THE PRESENT CONVENTION: The present Convention applies to treaties between States. “Treaty” means an international agreement concluded between 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. “Party” means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty and for which the treaty is in force
This is crucial wording:
consented to be bound by the treaty and for which the treaty is in force
Let's see a few instruments dictating Switzerland regardless of their national law, jurisprudence or praxis. Dates are entry into force and formatted dd/mm/yyyy
- 09/09/1990: Convention on the Rights of the Child
- 14/12/2005: Convention against Corruption
- 01/07/2002: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
- 19/09/2003: Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Of course, there is all the Council of Europe stuff, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the ... many.
Sadly, several crucially important texts preceded the VCLT, which in its article 4 states it applies only to treaties which are concluded by States after the entry into force of the VCLT.
So presumably it would exclude things like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
However, these “fundamental constitutive documents” are considered jus cogens, fundamental principles of international law from which no state may deviate or derogate. If there should be any doubt, the United Nations International Conference on Human Rights advised that the Declaration constitutes an obligation for the members of the international community to all persons.
There is more. The VCLT confirms in its article 3 the legal force of international agreements which are not covered by the VCLT, and that they need to be applied regardless of the VCLT.
And in article 5 is confirmed that treaties constituting international organisations and treaties adopted within an international organisation are to be applied, regardless whether they are preceding the VCLT.
Article 11 is a good one I think:
The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty may be expressed by signature, exchange of instruments constituting a treaty, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
This means signing in most cases is enough, no need to ratify or accede. Articles 12 to 17 describe in detail, but basically any act constitutes:
the consent of a State to be bound by a treaty
And article 18 extends the obligation of a state even before a treaty is in place. So even before signing, ratifying or acceding, a country is legally bound by its intention alone.
(Sweat dripping off Helvetia's face)
Articles 26 and 27 I need to copy (no, there's no wiping of Helvetia's dripping face based on local laws):
Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.
Helvetia: Yes, but, but, but ... Cantons ! Article 29's grin:
a treaty is binding upon each party in respect of its entire territory
Helvetia insisting: Yes, but, but, but ... Cantons ! Article 46:
Provisions of internal law regarding the competence to conclude treaties: 1. A State may not invoke the fact that its consent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed in violation of a provision of its internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties as invalidating its consent unless that violation was manifest and concerned a rule of its internal law of fundamental importance. 2. A violation is manifest if it would be objectively evident to any State con ducting itself in the matter in accordance with normal practice and in good faith.
Switzerland itself says about International Treaties :
The international agreements Switzerland has concluded with foreign states, international organisations and other subjects of international law are stored in the Classified Compilation of Federal Legislation or in the Official Compilation of Federal Legislation provided they are published officially.
(yes, you got me there, I am smiling and feeling at peace)
In layman's terms: Screw Cantons, and international conventions are law in Switzerland, regardless of Swiss law.
Helvetia says: Phew, there is a section about interpretation, let's get interpreting.
Article 31: General rule or interpretation 1. A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose. ...
Helvetia says: Yes but, “Wir Avons Quattro Lingua” to interpret ...
Read article 33 and be done with it. There is no escaping due to having different languages.
Scheisse, merde, merda, merda
In addition, who are the Swiss fucking over? The whole world! Switzerland is depositary for 79 international treaties .
I know and accept Helvetia's aura of superiority in all things. I am just a humble layman when it comes to law, having studied nature not paper, enjoying freedom of life, not limitations of law.
Unfortunately, and I apologise to the Swiss for it, at school they taught me to read. I don't know, maybe the Swiss don't go to school, or don't learn to read, or don't learn ... ... ...
And quite frankly, Swiss should have known better. Not giving up is in our Flemish DNA: Ze zullen hem niet temmen .
Get giddy on with it Swiss people, why do you violate structurally and systematically international and binding law, which you've sworn yourself into by full democratic empowerment which you vindicate internationally, and are even hosting the UN and acting as depositary? To get away with violating international law?
If this write-up seems disrespectful of Switzerland, it absolutely is. I can have no respect for a state whose authorities knowingly and structurally violate international law, kidnap children, and both psychologically and sexually abuse them. No respect for that.
Yes, yes, I know, I keep promising part 3 and more, there is just 24 hours in a day, and this boring stuff is the foundation of what comes later.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. This blog gets the proverbial pants on!
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