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The Reception of International Law in the European Court of Human Rights$
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Magdalena Forowicz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199592678

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592678.001.0001

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The Law of Treaties

The Law of Treaties

(p.23) I The Law of Treaties
The Reception of International Law in the European Court of Human Rights

Magdalena Forowicz

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates how the Strasbourg bodies have used Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. These provisions have recently resurfaced in the context of fragmentation of international law. The Court and the Commission became less responsive to these VCLT rules over the years. Initially, the Court resorted to VCLT in order to construct its own autonomous means of interpretation. In subsequent years, the VCLT was used as a rubber stamp to legitimate references to various international law instruments. With time, the VCLT interpretation rules have survived in the Strasbourg case law and they are currently applied, albeit infrequently, along with other interpretation rules that the Court has created. Further guidance is necessary in order to improve the Court's use of these provisions.

Keywords:   VCLT, systemic interpretation, ordinary meaning, contextual interpretation, teleological interpretation, fragmentation

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