Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Blame the Drafter or the Treaty? Towards Uniformity in the Implementation of Treaties in Domestic Law

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Version 2 2023-02-23, 22:13
Version 1 2021-11-15, 06:37
posted on 2023-02-23, 22:13 authored by Modeste, Dara Lenetha Ayanna

Domestic courts are often confronted with circumstances in which their interpretation of municipal legislation which purports to implement an international treaty differs significantly from that of other jurisdictions that have implemented that same treaty. States parties often come to realise these differences when they are called upon to cooperate in facilitating the execution of the relevant treaty. This is clearly undesirable as it defeats the purpose of treaty negotiation which is to attain consistency in approach amongst states parties.

This dissertation proposes a solution to that problem. It is based on the hypothesis that uniformity in the drafting techniques used to implement different types of international treaties will eliminate, or at least reduce, the incidence of domestic legislation's deviating from the true intentions of the treaty it proposes to implement. The dissertation tests this hypothesis by examining the approach taken by different jurisdictions in implementing selected treaties. The study reveals that there is merit to the hypothesis. However, there are several factors which determine which drafting technique will best implement the terms of a treaty in a particular jurisdiction. Therefore, the same implementation technique may not be suitable for all contracting states. What is required is a structured approach to treaty implementation. This comes with an appreciation of the factors that will indicate and should be used to determine which drafting technique is the most suitable.

By way of solution to the problem posed, a guide is formulated. It provides a set of best practices for treaty implementation.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Law

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


Angelo, Tony