Treaties guide the relations between countries that have agreed to be party to them. They are legally binding agreements entered by two or more states. States do relate with others as they go about their business. This can involve business relations or efforts to restrain other states from events of war or conflicts. Treaties are therefore likened to contracts from the fact that they constitute legally enforceable promises which are freely entered into by states (Harold, 1936). Every party to the agreement is under a duty to keep their part of the promise. Therefore, treaties just like contracts have obligations and duties assigned to each party. The conditions are enforceable thereby allowing for further action by the innocent party should the other party breach. This is a similar situation as that provided for under contract law. The innocent party can sue under international law for breach (Atiyah, 1986). This party is also free to avoid performance of his duties given that the other party has breached the agreement.
It is therefore argued that treaties are similar to contracts. The Locarno treaty is an example that demonstrates the above argument. This treaty is referred as the ‘Rhineland Pact’. It was agreed on by Germany, France, Belgium, Britain and Italy. In this agreement, the first three states undertook not to attack each other while the latter two acted as guarantors and were to assist any of the states in case it was attacked. When a party to a treaty fails to keep his part of the bargain, the party is held liable for the breach (Wilmot, 2009). The innocent party is also allowed not to honor the remaining part of the agreed deal. One of the treaties that have been breached is that formed between the World Health Organization and countries that grow tobacco. One of those countries is Jamaica which went against the resolution of not aiding the growing of tobacco by instead encouraging it and accepting financial assistance from companies that grow and process tobacco. Jamaica therefore, acted in breach of the conditions set thereby breach of the treaty. Treaties are therefore, regarded to be just as similar to contracts but would only differ slightly like the condition of consideration in contracts which does not necessarily have to be in the treaties.
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