The IUP Journal of Law Review
Legal Implications of Valid and Invalid Reservations to Treaties

Article Details
Pub. Date : July' 2023
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Law Review
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJLR030723
Author Name : Mohamed Siraj Muneer and Mohd Imran
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 13



Throughout history, states have engaged in the practice of forming treaties with one another for various purposes, such as maintaining stability and harmony, fostering cooperation across diverse domains, and declaring or terminating wars. A state may exercise the option of reserving a provision of a multilateral treaty, whereby it declares its non-acceptance or non-agreement to be bound by a particular provision of the treaty. This enables a state to participate in a treaty while retaining the option to not adhere to certain provisions. A state may have various reasons for reserving a treaty provision, such as differences in religion, society, culture, and other factors. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, established in 1969, serves as the preeminent source of international law that regulates the creation, implementation, and interpretation of treaties among states. It contains provisions that govern the circumstances under which a state may reserve a treaty provision and the legal effects of such reservations. This paper examines the concept of treaty reservations, as well as the conditions under which they are valid. It also discusses the formalities required, acceptance and objections to reservations, and the legal implications of valid reservations. Finally, it analyzes the impact of invalid reservations, particularly the connection between invalid reservations and state consent and the severability of invalid reservations.


A treaty, also known as a charter, protocol, law, covenant, convention, etc., governs the rights and duties of member states and international entities under international law.1 The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), the legal document that regulates treaties, defines a treaty as a written agreement between nations subject to international law.2

In this context, treaties are the primary device utilized to conduct a vast number of affairs between states.3 Treaties can serve various purposes, such as ending wars, resolving conflicts, establishing alliances, acquiring territory, and creating international legal or military entities.4 For example, the United Nations (UN) Charter created the