8 Characteristics of international agreements

An international agreement, or often referred to as an agreement or convention, is an official agreement between two or more countries or parties to international law. The characteristics of international agreements involve several distinctive elements, including:

  1. Mutual Agreement:
  • International agreements involve mutual agreement between the parties involved. Each party agrees to comply with the provisions and obligations outlined in the agreement.
  1. Subjects of International Law:
  • International agreements are subject to international law, namely a set of norms and principles that regulate relations between states and other subjects of international law.
  1. Interested Parties:
  • The parties involved in international agreements can be countries, international organizations, or other international legal entities that have international legal capacity to enter into agreements.
  1. Goals and Intent:
  • Every international agreement has specific goals and objectives outlined in the text of the agreement. These goals may include economic cooperation, international security, environmental protection, or other goals.
  1. Written Form:
  • Most international agreements are implemented in written form. This written document contains provisions that have been agreed to by the parties.
  1. Ratification or Approval:
  • After negotiations, the parties involved usually need to ratify or provide internal consent in accordance with legal procedures in their domestic law to bind themselves to the agreement.
  1. Legal Obligations:
  • International agreements create legal obligations for the parties involved. Parties are expected to comply with the terms of the agreement and fulfill the agreed obligations.
  1. National Implementation:
  • After ratification, the parties to the agreement must implement the provisions of the agreement at the national level in accordance with their domestic laws.
  1. Supervision and Enforcement:
  • Some international agreements involve supervision and enforcement mechanisms to ensure parties’ compliance with the provisions of the agreement. This may include oversight agencies, arbitrator panels, or other forums.
  1. Change or Revocation:
  • Several international agreements regulate procedures for amendment or revocation. The parties may agree to change the terms of the agreement or terminate their involvement in accordance with certain procedures.
  1. Principles of Pacta Sunt Servanda:
  • The international law principle “pacta sunt servanda” states that agreements must be respected and implemented in good faith by the parties involved.

International agreements are important legal instruments in relations between countries and function as a formal way to regulate cooperation and interaction between countries.