course

Long relegated to the narrow boundaries of legal technique by a purportedly rule-based, mechanical approach, the process of treaty interpretation has recently gained prominence as a matter of great importance, both as a form of practice and as an object of intellectual investigation. After exploring the historical development of treaty interpretation from the early days of international law to the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the course will broach the main approaches (textualism, intentionalism, purposeful interpretation, systemic integration etc.) and will critically reflect on the reasons that account for the treaty interpretation regime prevailing in the international legal discourse today. It will also examine the politics of treaty interpretation in various areas of international practice, ranging from constitutive treaties of international organizations to human rights and investment arbitration. Ultimately, this interactive course aims at spurring a critical understanding of the interpretive processes in the various contexts in which they arise.