Syria, Chemical Weapons, International Law, and Article 51 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties

I have finished all of my papers and final exams for the semester except for my international law class, which is next week.  Today I read the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties and it reminded me of something the Professor explained at the beginning of the semester in regards to the chemical weapons agreement with Syria.

Article 51: Coercion of a representative of a State
The expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty which has been procured by the coercion of its representative through acts or threats directed against him shall be without any legal effect.

I would say that President Obama’s threats against Syria at the time would count as coercion, meaning that even though an agreement was made, it was dead on arrival in legal terms.  International law, its a tricky thing.


About Leon Whyte

I'm a recent graduate of the Fletcher school of Law and Diplomacy. My interests include Pacific Asia and Security. I am looking for related opportunities.
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