This chapter introduces the discussion of the key role of subsequent practice in the process of treaty adaptation and the formation of international law more generally. The chapter explains the need to explore the treaty modifying potential of subsequent practice—a topic that has, in recent years, generated an increasing amount of attention—and its potentially far-reaching effects for States and dispute settlement bodies alike. The chapter also defines treaty ‘modification’ in this context. The final section sets out the book's systematic approach to exploring the relevance and dynamism of the process of treaty modification by subsequent practice and showing—on a theoretical and practical level—how it can be identified and dealt with more consistently in the future.
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