Published in journal "Journal of Foreign Legislation and Comparative Law", 2015-3 , pages 455-464.
Resume: If a state has a federal structure constituent units might be included in domestic legal processes relating to treaty-making. Such units might be directly involved, i.e. where the federal authorities conclude the treaty at the international level, constituent units might possess certain powers in relation to the process at the domestic legal level. They may indirectly influence the domestic legal process where they constitute a legislative chamber, whose consent to certain treaties is necessary. Domestic law in certain federal states provides for constituent units to be involved in the process leading to the conclusion of treaties by the federal government. In a first group of states there is a requirement for consultation with constituent units in matters within their exclusive jurisdiction or if their interests may be affected. In other countries there is no legal obligation in this respect, but in practice the constituent units are consulted before the signing of treaties that may affect their powers. In a third group of states there is no legal provisions for constituent units to be consulted and the federal government is in contacts with them only for political and not for legal reasons. The performance of treaties by federal states can give rise to special problems. Although article 29 of Vienna convention on the law of treaties provides that, unless there is a different intention, a treaty is binding upon each party in respect of its entire territory, it may be difficult in some federal states for the federal government to ensure that a treaty is fully implemented in all constituent units. This may be because under a federal constitution certain powers are often shared with constituent units. If the units have to legislate there could be delays or even obstruction. The federal constitution may therefore provide for such matters to be vested exclusively in the federal government when powers have to be exercised in performance of a treaty obligation.
Keywords: federal states, constituent units, allocation of powers, mixed treaties, federal state clause, law of treaties, domestic legal processes, substitution mechanism, international treaty obligations, international responsibility.
1. Venskaya konventsiya o prave mezhdunarodnykh dogovorov. Kommentariy / Sost. i avtor kommentariev A.N. Talalaev.
M., 1997. S. 73.
2. Marochkin S. Yu. Deystvie i realizatsiya norm mezhdunarodnogo prava v pravovoy sisteme Rossiyskoy Federatsii:
monografiya. M., 2011.
3. Osminin B.I. Zaklyuchenie i implementatsiya mezhdunarodnykh dogovorov i vnutrigosudarstvennoe pravo: [mono-
grafiya]. M., 2010.
4. Osminin B.I. Razreshenie kolliziy mezhdu vnutrigosudarstvennym pravom i mezhdunarodnymi dogovorami //
Zhurnal zarubezhnogo zakonodatel'stva i sravnitel'nogo pravovedeniya. 2013. ¹ 1. S. 114-123.
5. Osminin B.I. Realizatsiya mezhdunarodnykh dogovornykh obyazatel'stv v natsional'noy pravovoy sisteme SShA //
Zhurnal zarubezhnogo zakonodatel'stva i sravnitel'nogo pravovedeniya. 2011. ¹ 5. S. 65-75.
6. Tiunov O.I. Realizatsiya mezhdunarodnykh dogovorov Rossiyskoy Federatsii: nauka, praktika, effektivnost' //
Zhurnal zarubezhnogo zakonodatel'stva i sravnitel'nogo pravovedeniya. 2013. ¹ 2. S. 198-207.
7. An Act to amend the Act respecting the Ministère des Relations internationals and other legislative provisions. 2nd
Session, 36th Legislature. Quebec. 2002.
8. Barnett L. Canada’s Approach to the Treaty-Making Process. Library of Parliament. 2012.
9. Bond v. United States. 572 U.S. (2014).
10. Bradley C. Bond, Clear Statement Requirements, and Political Process // AJIL Unbound. June 3, 2014.
11. Criekemans D. The Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Representation of the Belgian Regions: Flanders and Wallonia Compared
// Foreign Policy of Constituents Units at the Beginning of 21st Century. Ferran Requejo (ed). Barcelona. 2010.
12. Cyr H. Canadian Federalism and a Treaty Powers: Organic Constitutionalism at Work. Brussels, P.I.E/Peter Lang. 2009.
13. Franck T. and Thiruvengadam A. International Law and Constitution-Making // Chines Journal of International Law. 2003.
14. Galbraith J. Congress’s Treaty-Implementing Power in Historical Practice // William & Mary Law Review. 2014. Vol. 56.
15. Gunlicks A. The Länder and German federalism. Manchester University Press. 2003.
16. Harrington J. Canadian Treaty Practice and the Disabilities Convention // Housei Riron. 2010. Vol. 42.
17. Letter of Duncan B. Hollis, Attorney-Adviser, Office of Treaty Affairs. U.S. Department of State to Nicolas Dimic, First
Secretary. Embassy of Canada. January 13, 2000.
18. Morrissette F. Provincial Involvement in International Treaty Making: The European Union as a Possible Model // Queen
Law Journal. 2012. Vol. 37.
19. Nagel K-J. Foreign Policy: The Case of the German Länder // Foreign Policy of Constituents Units at the Beginning of
21st Century. Ferran Requejo (ed). Barcelona. 2010.
20. Olutoyin B. Treaty Making and its Application under Nigerian Law: Journey So Far // International Journal of Business and
Management Invention. 2014. Vol. 3.
21. Paquin St. Federalism and Compliance with International Agreements: Belgium and Canada Compared // The Hague
Journal of Diplomacy. 2010. Vol. 5.
22. Polaschek M. Implementation of International and Supra-national Law by Sub-national Units // Federalism in a Changing
World: Learning from Each Other. Edited by Blindenbacher R. and Koller A. McGill-Queen’s University Press. 2003.
23. Principles and Procedures for Commonwealth – State – Territory Consultation on Treaties. 14 June 1996.
24. Rosenkranz N. Executing the Treaty Powers // Harvard Law Review. 2005. Vol. 118.
25. Skoutaris N. Comparing the Subnational Constitutional Space of the European Sub-State Entities in the Area of Foreign
Affairs // Perspectives on Federalism. 2012. Vol. 4.
26. Treaties. Policy & Procedures Manual. Tasmanian Government. Department of Premier and Cabinet. 2014.
27. Wouters J. and De Smet L. The Legal Position of Federal States and their Federated Entities in International Relations-The
Case of Belgium. Institute for International Law. K. U. Leuven. 2001.
Correct link to this article:
just copy this link to clipboard