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Om tolkningen av traktater

Publiceringsår: 2001
Språk: Svenska
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Lunds universitet, Juridiska fakulteten


In the relations between states interpretation of treaties is an everyday issue. When an agent of state confers a meaning on a treaty text, the ensuing interpretation is talked of as being legally either correct or incorrect. This is a distinction made possible thanks to the existence of certain norms. These are the norms which find expression in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, articles 31-33. Articles 31-33 not only put into words the legal relations created by the Convention between those states, in regard to those treaties, for which the Convention formally is to be applied. They are also expressive of the relations that exist under international customary law between states in general. This is today generally accepted.

To explain fully what distinguishes an interpretation which is legally correct from one which is not, it is then necessary that we come to grips with the content of Vienna Convention articles 31-33. In legal literature the substance of these articles has often been described by reference to the means of interpretation therein authorized, and little more than that. As I see it more detail is required. On closer inspection it is obvious that the content of Vienna Convention articles 31-33 need to be described in more coherent ways. What the articles express is a system of rules, whereby agents are not only given notice of the different means that law can be said to approve for the purpose of interpretation, but are also instructed how the means are to be used - separately as well as jointly - so that a conclusion can be reached on the meaning of a treaty text.

The purpose of my dissertation is twofold. Firstly, in chapter 2, by importing knowledge from linguistics, and pragmatics in particular, I start out by describing in general terms what in this context is meant by a rule of interpretation. A model is put forward giving a representation of the concept as such. Secondly, in chapters 3 through 11, drawing on the model established, I proceed by defining and articulating the content of public international law. In conclusion - making quick references possible - I present a list of 44 rules, all of which can be made valid either on the basis of the Vienna articles on interpretation directly, or by reference to the customary rules that the Vienna articles are supposed to reproduce.


20 October 2001, 10.15 a.m., Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lundagård, Lund
  • Lauri Hannikainen (Prof)


  • Law
  • interpretation
  • treaties
  • treaty interpretation
  • international law
  • Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
  • rules of interpretation
  • European law
  • EU-rätt


  • ISBN: 91-7874-149-1
  • ISRN: LUJUDV/JUFO--01/01

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