A treaty is an agreement or contract entered into between two or more states whereby they undertake to carry out obligations imposed on each of them.  The law making treaties are an important Source of International Law.  There are various grounds for the termination of the treaty such as expiry of specified period for which a treaty was concluded, fulfillment of purpose or object, termination by mutual consent etc.

Treaties Meaning and Definitions -

Oppenheim :

             According to Oppenheim International Treaties are agreements, of a contractual character between States or organizations of States, creating legal rights and obligations between the Parties. A treaty is an important Source of International Law and an Instrument for imposing the binding obligation.

Starke : 

       According to Starke, a treaty is an agreement whereby two or more states establish or seek to establish a relationship under International Law.  In short Treaties are International Agreements.

Termination of Treaties :

            Treaties may terminate on any of the following grounds :

1) Expiry of Specific Period :

              When a treaty is concluded for a particular period, which expressly provided in treaty contract then after the expiry of that period, treaty ipso facto comes to an end.

2) Where the main purpose/object of the treaty is fulfilled :

                In case of treaties imposing no continuing obligations, they cease to operate on the fulfillment of the object.

3) Termination by Mutual Consent : 

     It is an outcome of consensus. Treaty comes into existence by the consent of the party State. So it can come to an end by mutual Consent.

 There are three ways for termination of by mutual consent see in Detail  >>>> Termination of Treaties by Mutual Consent.

4) One of the Party State Extinct :

             When the existence of one of the party state comes to an end, generally in case of the merger of one state into another state, the treaty stand terminated.

5) When that obligation of the treaty becomes incompatible with the  Charter of United Nations : 
    Article 103 specifically provides that in the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the United Nations and their obligations under any other agreement, their obligations under the Charter shall prevail.

6) War Between Party States :

              In a War, If the Party States are the enemy against each other, then contractual obligations come to an end and treaty ipso facto stand terminated.

7) Dissolution by Withdrawal by Notice :

                 The treaties can be dissolved by a notice by either party to the other party. If no period of the existence of the treaty is prescribed by the parties, then treaty can be determined by the requisite period of the termination of treaties by a notice. When a prescribed period of notice is given expressly in the treaty then it is to be strictly complied with.

8) Terms of treaty becoming injurious to State : 

               By such treaty either wholly or partly the terms of treaty become injurious to one of the party state, thereby interest of one party state, likely to be adversely affected. In such circumstances, there is conflict as to term and sovereignty of the state, whereby sovereignty of that state is in danger. Its survival is more important than such obligations.  In such cases of conflict, the law makes it very clear and contractual obligation comes to an end.

9) Non- Performance of certain Essential Conditions :

               If the Treaty grants a unilateral right of denunciation to one or all of the consenting States in case of failure of certain essential conditions, the treaty comes to an end on the happening of such contingency.

10) Doctrine of Rebus sic stantibus :

     The meaning of doctrine Rebus sic stantibus is if by any unforeseen change, or circumstances an obligation provided for in the treaty should imperil the existence of one of the State. and such state has a right to demand and to be released from the contractual obligations. It means when the terms of the agreement are injurious to one of the party State, or the purpose of treaty is over or there are changes in the circumstances, or there is conflict with the status of or existence of one of the party State, or when the object of treaty is no more there,  then in such cases doctrine of Rebus Sic Stantibus is made applicable and Treaty concluded comes to an end. This is based on the basic principle of self Preservation and Development in accordance with the growth and requirement of the nation.

11) Doctrine of Jus Cogens : 

       Lastly, a treaty may be declared void if it conflicts with a peremptory norm (it also called jus cogens)of general International Law.
See also 

Termination of Treaties by Mutual Consent
Formation of treaties (Various Stages in the Formation of treaties)


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