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The conditions of admissibility of reservations in the Vienna Convention

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Paragraph 4 of Article 20 shows that the Vienna Convention contains a rigid principle of unanimous acceptance of reservations.

It reads "The acceptance of a reservation by another contracting State of the reserving State a party to the treaty in relation to that other State if the treaty is in effect or when it comes into force for those States" and Article 20 paragraph 4 c) reads "An act expressing the consent of a State to be bound by the treaty and containing a reservation is effective as soon as, at least one other, contracting State has accepted the reservation." To better understand the change that is introduced by these two articles, one must relinquish the principle of unanimous acceptance of reservations.

The expansion of international society prompted him to look for rules that can be applied universally. This development was triggered off by the reservations that had been made by the Soviet Union to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. When consulted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice ruled (in 1951) that in its opinion the principle of unanimous acceptance was not absolute.

This relaxation, however, led to turmoil in international society which was reflected in the preparatory work for the Vienna Convention. Some states were in favor of maintaining the principle of unanimous acceptance.
There was one reporter who enabled the International Court of Justice to change their position in favor of abandoning the principle of unanimous acceptance. It should be noted that the Commission has distinguished the first multilateral treaty to which the principle of unanimous acceptance was abandoned and the plurilateral treaties which remained subject to the principle of unanimous acceptance.

Rules form the Vienna Convention and also show great flexibility for the reserving State and promote the access of many States to the treaty. Indeed, paragraph 5 of Article 20 provides that there may be an implicit acceptance of the reservation. However, some states, including the U.S., have asked about this article which has been extensively discussed within the Commission. If a State is presumed to be bound by a new treaty and a relationship that it never explicitly approves of. According to the United States Government, the State has no objection that to its denial of the opportunity to prevent participation in the Treaty of the State which formulated the reservation.

The Vienna Convention did make some exceptions to the general rule that a reserving State becomes party to a treaty from the moment that the State accepts it.
There were some exceptions that the International Court of Justice had not foreseen in 1951. The first is that of Article 20 paragraph 2.

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